Aer Lingus operating profits up 40.7%
Aer Lingus says 2012 a record year in terms of passenger numbers, with 10.8 million passengers flown.
Aer Lingus has reported an operating profit before exceptional items of €69.1 million for 2012, up more than 40 per cent on the 2011 figure of €49.1 million.
The airline's exceptional costs include the restructuring of the Shannon aircraft maintenance operations, and €10 million legal defence costs associated with the Ryanair takeover bid, according to chief executive Christoph Mueller.
The airline also posted an 8.2 per cent rise in revenues to €1.393 billion for the year.
Last year was a record year for the airline in terms of passenger numbers, with a total of 10.8 million passengers flown. The figure includes Aer Lingus Regional and the Madrid -Washington code-share route with United Airlines. This is the highest number of passengers ever flown in a single year by Aer Lingus and represents an increase of 3.8 per cent on 2011.
Total flown passenger numbers, including Aer Lingus Regional operations, increased by 3.6 per cent to 638,000 in January 2013 compared to January 2012.
"I firmly believe that this result, representing our third consecutive year of profitability, validates our value carrier model and shows that our strategy is delivering a leaner, more efficient and profitable airline, to the benefit of customers, shareholders and staff," Mr Mueller said.
Mr Mueller also dismissed the Flybe announcement this morning that it would create FlyBe Ireland in the event of a takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair, saying the deal proposed was "not good for the consumer" and "not going to fly".
"Im generally subscribing to the fact that weak airlines should disappear but in this proposal obviously it is envisaged to donate €100 million to Flybe a carrier which is burned through all its equity in the last three years. The donation is 2½ times their market capitalisation."
The board recommended an increased dividend of 4 cent per share for 2012.