WELLINGTON, 26 February 2016: Air New Zealand unveiled a record interim net profit Thursday, saying falling fuel prices and surging passenger demand were also set to produce a strong full-year result.
The flag carrier said net profit for the six months to 31 December was NZD338 million (USD225 million), up 154% on the same period a year ago.
The result was more than double Air New Zealand’s previous half-year record of NZD140 million, posted in 2014, and chairman Tony Carter described it as a “stellar” outcome.
“Based upon current market conditions and assuming current fuel prices and foreign exchange rates, the airline is targeting earnings before taxation for the full-year 2016 to exceed NZD800 million,” he said.
The carrier said fuel prices fell 44% over the reporting period, while demand was up 17%. As a result, operating revenue rose 12% to NZD2.7 billion and earnings increased 132% to NZD457 million.
Revenues increased across all the company’s divisions, with long-haul passenger services the standout performer, up 24% as a stronger US dollar boosted New Zealand’s pull as a tourist destination.
Air New Zealand said it was increasing its interim dividend 54% to 10.0 cents a share.
The announcement was made before the opening bell on the New Zealand stock exchange, where the airline closed Wednesday up 2.69% at NZD2.865.
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