LAN AIRLINES UP CLOSE TO 50% IN Q4 WITH NET PROFIT FOR 2010 UP 81.6%

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 26, 2011 15:46

LAN AIRLINES UP CLOSE TO 50% IN Q4 WITH NET PROFIT FOR 2010 UP 81.6%

Chilean flag carrier LAN Airlines SA’s fourth quarter net income leapt 49.9% on the year, in line with expectations, to $164.6 million as its passenger and cargo businesses continued to rebound after the recession. LAN, saw its passenger and cargo businesses boom as the region recovered from the global financial crisis and domestic demand picked up. LAN’s sales increased 21.6% on the year in the fourth quarter to $1.30 billion, from $1.07 billion in the same-year ago period, as sales from it passenger business grew 17.3% and sales in its cargo business increased 31.2%.

“Income growth from our cargo business reflects the company’s capacity to take advantage of expanding global cargo volumes, as well as the continuous development of key strategic initiatives,” LAN said.

The airline’s 2010 net profit surged 81.6% from the prior year to $419.7 million on the back of full-year 2010 sales rising 23.7% to $4.52 billion, compared to $3.66 billion in 2009. This is despite the massive 8.8-magnitude quake that assailed Chile’s central-southern regions in February costing LAN nearly $25 million in lost passenger traffic.

Last year “was a year of recovery and growth compared to 2009, in [our] cargo and passenger businesses…these solid results highlight the company’s ability to take advantage of recovering global markets following a tough year like 2009 and despite the impact of the Chilean earthquake in February,” LAN said in a statement.

The Chilean carrier is in the process of expanding into Colombia and merging with Brazilian airline TAM SA. With LAN and TAM’s combined revenue of $8.5 billion in 2009, the merger, which is expected to be complete within six to nine months, will place the newly-formed regional giant, called Latam Airlines Group, among the top 15 airlines in the world and make it Latin America’s largest airline operator by some margin.

LAN has a $7.7 billion investment plan until 2018, which includes 95 orders for Airbus A320s until 2016 and the purchase of 26 Boeing 787-8s and leasing of an additional six. The Chilean carrier aims to increase its total fleet from 96 aircraft in 2009 to 176 in 2018.

LAN expects to invest $1.02 billion this year to increase its total fleet to 150 aircraft, from the 131 it had at the end of 2010. The carrier expects its passenger capacity will likely grow between 20% and 22% this year, as it adds new aircraft and starts operations in Colombia. Its cargo capacity is expected to increase between 16% and 18% this year, mainly due to the addition of three Boeing-767 cargo aircraft it received between November 2010 and January 2011.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 26, 2011 15:46
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