Air New Zealand has today announced its earnings of $256 million before tax for the 2013 financial year, an increase of 172 percent on the previous year, representing the airline’s best result in five years and third best result ever.
The net profit after taxation was $182 million, which is $111 million or 156 percent up on the previous year.
The company also announced that operating cash flow was the highest ever, at $750 million. Gearing improved seven percent to 39.1 percent, a record low for the company.
These results meant to fully imputed final dividend of five cents per share, taking the total dividend for the year to eight cents per share, a 45 percent increase on last year.
“At last we are finally making real progress in delivering results for shareholders,” says chairman John Palmer, who adds that these results place Air New Zealand amongst the best performing airlines globally. "We are focused on further improving on this result in the 2014 financial year. Based on the airline's forecast of market demand and fuel prices at current levels, early results and forward bookings are encouraging."
"This result is one that investors, Air New Zealanders, customers and our nation can be proud of. It marks the start of an exciting new phase as Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon and his management team drive their Go Beyond strategy to grow the airline," adds Palmer.
The outgoing chairman, who will next month be replaced by former Foodstuffs boss Tony Carter, says the results will be reinvested in the company. "Strong results allow Air New Zealand to reinvest in its products, services, training and development to further enhance the customer experience and to connect more people and businesses than ever to, from and within New Zealand."
The airline has committed to investing $1.8 billion in aircraft over the next three years, an investment that will translate into two new Boeing 777-300ERs, six new Boeing 787-9s, nine new Airbus A320s and four new ATR72-600s.
Palmer adds that this result is “the first step on a journey” to a circle of growth and the result of a lot of hard work. “Sometimes you get lucky but this has nothing to do with luck.”
The company managed to keep costs down but Palmer warns that “you can’t cost cut your way to prosperity”. “But cost control is very important,” he adds.
According to CEO Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand has a “range of initiatives that will roll out during the 2014 financial year” as part of the company’s efforts to stay ahead of the competition.