Friday 24 March 2017

Air Berlin counting the cost of volcano disruption

Oliver Suess

Air Berlin, Germany's second- biggest airline, reported a second-quarter net loss on charges related to flight cancellations due to the eruption of the volcano in Iceland in April.

The loss of €56.9m after a tax benefit of €11.3m compared with a profit of €7.1m a year ago, the Berlin-based company said in a statement yesterday.

Sales rose 4.9pc to €877 due to the acquisition of the TUIfly City Carrier business, the company said.

Air Berlin, which aims to improve its operating profit over last year's €10.8m, didn't give an update on its full-year outlook in the statement. The company will report detailed second-quarter figures tomorrow, it said.

The eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which prompted closure European airspace over concern that volcanic ash could damage aircraft engines, resulted in "exceptional charges", Air Berlin said.

Travel

Meanwhile, Travelport Ltd, the travel-reservation systems provider backed by Blackstone, may seek debt financing rather than revive a plan to sell shares.

"We are not a distressed company," Gordon Wilson, the company's deputy chief executive officer, said yesterday in an interview from Langley, England, where the company is based.

"We do have debt for renewal in 2012, but the debt market is probably better than equity. We have no compunction to list."

Travelport postponed a £1.2bn London initial public offering in February, citing market volatility and uncertainty.

At least 15 European IPOs, including Travelport's, were delayed or shelved this year as the Greek sovereign debt crisis spurred volatility in equity markets, curbing investors' appetite for new stocks. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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