Aer Lingus has announced a rise in revenue in its preliminary results for the year ended December 31, 2013.
Total revenue for the year was up 2.3% to €1.425m from €1.393m in 2012, while 2013 operating profit, before net exceptional items, was €61.1m in line with stated guidance.
Average fare revenue per seat also increased, up 2%, to €90.43, while effective network capacity management resulted in the load factor climbing 0.7 points to 78.4%, with increases on both short and long haul services.
Revenue from long haul serveces was up 11.1% to €381.6m, passenger numbers up 12.2% and load factor up 0.6 points on increased capacity of 11.6%.
Short-haul revenue for 2013 was down 3.3% due to extremely good weather in Ireland and Northern Europe in the peak summer period and an increasingly competitive pricing environment in Q3 and Q4 2013.
The balance sheet was again strong at the year end with gross cash of €897.4m and an 11.4% increase in net cash to €419.8m.
Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus’ CEO said: "2013 was the first year of significant growth for Aer Lingus since the global economic downturn. We added 11.6% additional capacity to our mainline long haul network and more than sold this.
"We also successfully commenced contract flying operations and as a result, increased our short haul fleet by four aircraft. While we faced challenges in short haul markets in the second half of the year, we took effective corrective action to protect margin and in this way delivered a creditable profit.
"While I am broadly satisfied with our financial performance for 2013, I believe that we could have done better. In particular, the absence of progress on pension matters inhibited developments on several other key matters for our business.
"We believe that our proposal to address funding difficulties in the IASS represents a viable solution, which is in the interests of all parties. However, we can no longer defer business improvement initiatives while we wait for this proposal to be implemented and we will press ahead in 2014 to focus on two key areas for our business, namely service and cost."