Etihad Airways posts 200% rise in 2012 net profit

PHOTO: Etihad Airways posts 200% rise in 2012 net profit
James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways.

ABU DHABI - Etihad Airways, the fast-growing carrier of Abu Dhabi, posted a 200 per cent rise in net profit in 2012 and a 17 per cent increase in revenues, the airlines said in a statement Monday.

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million (S$52 million) last year compared to $14 million in 2011 when it made its first ever profit, said the statement which attributed the rise to strong improvements in revenues, passengers and cost control.

The flag carrier of the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi said revenues increased 17 per cent to $4.8 billion in 2012 compared to $4.1 billion the previous year.

The number of passengers grew a healthy 23 per cent to 10.3 million compared to 8.4 million in 2011, significantly boosted by Etihad's partnerships which delivered more than $600 million in total revenue.

"This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways," James Hogan, the airline's president and chief executive officer said.

"We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment," he said in the statement.

Etihad said it succeeded in building the first "equity alliance" with investments of 40 per cent in Air Seychelles, 29.2 per cent in airberlin, 9.0 per cent in Virgin Australia and about 3.0 per cent in Aer Lingus.

"We have taken great strides in building the industry's first equity alliance ... which (is) contributing significant value to our business," Hogan said.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 24 per cent to $170 million, while EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to $753 million, up 16 per cent, Etihad said.

Hogan said more than 50 institutions have provided around $6.8 billion in cumulative funding for the airline's ongoing expansion.

Planned fleet upgrades for 2013 include 14 aircraft, with 11 passenger aircraft deliveries and three freighter deliveries, Etihad said.

The orders are for nine wide-bodied Boeing and Airbus aircraft and five narrow-body Airbus aircraft. These will meet Etihad Airways' immediate growth requirements.

At the end of 2012, the company had 10,656 employees, 18 per cent up on 2011 with more than 125 nationalities represented.