24 Apr 2013

Airline earnings forecast raised

12:21 pm on 24 April 2013

Air New Zealand has forecast sharply higher earnings than last year.

It expects normalised annual earnings before tax to come in between $235 - $260 million, based on current market conditions.

Radio New Zealand business editor Jenny Ruth said the market obviously throught that was good news because Air New Zealand shares were up nearly 5%, or 7 cents, to $1.51 each on Wednesday.

The forecast is more than double the $91 million in pre-tax normalised earnings the airline reported for the year ended June 2012.

When it announced its annual results last year, Air New Zealand said it expected to more than double earnings this year.

In February, when it reported a more than tripling in first-half earnings, the airline said it expected second-half profit to be comfortably ahead of last year.

The airline carried nearly 1.4 million passengers in March, more than 5% higher than in the same month last year.

The number of available seats was down slightly, but revenue earned on every km flown rose nearly 3%.

Its planes travelled at nearly 86% full during the month, a 3.4% improvement.