Aer Lingus dives into annual net loss

GMT 12:54 2015 Tuesday ,24 February

Arab Today, arab today Aer Lingus dives into annual net loss

Aer Lingus
Dublin - AFP

Irish airline and takeover target Aer Lingus sank into a net loss in 2014 on the back of one-off pension and staff restructuring costs, it said Tuesday.
Losses after taxation stood at 95.8 million euros ($108.4 million) last year, the carrier revealed in a results statement.
That contrasted with a net profit of 34.1 million euros in 2013.
Aer Lingus, which is being pursued for a takeover by British Airways owner IAG, said the loss reflected exceptional items of 180.3 million euros, primarily related to the solution of a long-running pension dispute.
Operating profit before exceptional items meanwhile jumped 17.8 percent to 72 million euros.
Revenue rallied 9.2 percent to 1.56 billion euros and passenger numbers rose 1.5 percent to 9.76 million, the Dublin-based carrier added.
When numbers from its regional service are included, passenger numbers were over 11 million for the first time in the airline's history.
Outgoing chief executive Christoph Mueller, who steps down later this week to take the top job at Malaysia Airlines, said the airline would continue to become more profitable.
"The year 2014 proved the strength of our 'value carrier' business model across both our short and long haul businesses," said Mueller in the statement.
He added: "Commercial initiatives, in addition to cost control, led to the highest operating profit since the financial crisis and 17.8 percent above last year."
The results come as International Airlines Group (IAG) presses ahead with drumming up support for its 1.35 billion euros takeover bid for Aer Lingus.
IAG chief Willie Walsh met with Aer Lingus unions on Monday, as resistance to the takeover remains over fears of job losses.
The Irish Independent newspaper reported Tuesday that members of the junior government coalition party, Labour, will introduce an emergency motion opposing the takeover at their party conference this weekend.
Aer Lingus announced on January 27 that its management was willing to recommend IAG's takeover proposal -- worth 2.55 euros per share -- subject to certain conditions.
Whether the deal goes ahead now hinges on major shareholders Ryanair and the Irish government.
The carrier's chairman Colm Barrington reiterated the board's support for the IAG offer on Tuesday.
"To enhance these excellent results and to accelerate Aer Lingus' growth, it is the board's strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG," Barrington said.
"These significantly positive benefits will de-risk Aer Lingus' future, strengthen its operations and enhance the future success of the company," he added.
Tuesday's results statement was published one week after Aer Lingus appointed chief strategy and planning officer Stephen Kavanagh as successor to Mueller.
Mueller steps down on February 28 and Kavanagh -- who has 26 years' service with the airline -- will pick up the reins from March 1.


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