Aer Lingus posts increase in H1 revenue but operating profits down

Aer Lingus posts increase in H1 revenue but operating profits down

Aer Lingus is reporting a growth in revenues and passenger numbers for the first half of the year - but operating profits are down on last year.

Revenues were up 6.2% to €398.2m in the second quarter - bringing revenues for the first six months of 2013 up by 5% to €657.9m, when compared to last year (€626.3m).

But operating profits were lower during the second quarter at €29.1m, down from €31.7m in 2012.

"Aer Lingus is pleased to report an excellent business performance for the first half of 2013. All key revenue metrics have trended positively with passenger numbers up 1.3%, load factor up 2.0 points and growth in fare revenue per seat across short and long haul.

"Our Q2 2013 revenue performance was particularly strong," said CEO Christoph Mueller.

"However, the weakness in UK routes identified in our Q1 results has continued in Q2.

"The first half of our financial year is seasonally loss making and we are reporting an operating loss (before exceptional items) which is €12m higher than the prior year.

"This performance reflects the impact of a number of one-off factors including the start up of our contract flying operations and planned changes to our long haul fleet."

Mr Mueller also revealed that while certain planned cost saving initiatives "have not had effect as quickly as we had initially hoped", a voluntary severance programme seeking a headcount reduction of 100 has been oversubscribed.

The company said it maintained its guidance that 2013 operating profit, before net exceptional items, will be broadly in line with 2012.

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