Aer Lingus today announced its results for the period from 1st January to 31st March 2012, the first quarter of its financial year. The company recorded a strong performance with revenues and operating loss significantly better than 1Q11. Aer Lingus reports a 32.8% improvement in its operating result, with losses of €36.1 million compared to €53.7 million in 1Q11. The quarterly result was driven primarily by strong revenue performance with yield per passenger up 8.4% while passenger numbers increased by 6.6%. Total Q1 revenue increased by 15.4%.
The increase in operating costs was held to 5.9% despite substantial increases in fuel costs and airport charges that rose by 31.4% and 7.8%, respectively. The ‘Greenfield’ cost reduction programme remains on track.
Long-haul performance was particularly strong, with Q1 passenger volumes and yield up 12.1% and 11.2%, respectively. Retail revenue per passenger increased by 8.5%.
Aer Lingus remains financially strong with gross cash balances of €1,002.0 million as at 31st March 2012.
Chief Executive Christoph Mueller said: “Aer Lingus experienced an encouraging start to 2012 and the Group’s Q1 2012 operating loss of €36.1 million represents a 32.8 % improvement over Q1 2011. This result is mainly due to strong yield growth, particularly on long haul. We have deliberately compensated for the continuing decline in private Irish consumer demand with an increased focus on time sensitive routes, which carry a higher proportion of business travellers.
“We now share the more upbeat view on industry trends expressed in IATA’s April 2012 airline business confidence survey and, if current trends continue, Aer Lingus’s operating profit for 2012 should match that achieved in 2011. However, the performance of certain short-haul routes is weaker than expected and our business continues to be subject to inflationary cost pressures.
“We remain focused on our cost base and continue to explore measures to protect the Group’s profitability for the remainder of 2012 and beyond.”