'Solid' quarter for Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus said operating profit rose in the year to date as passenger numbers increased and revenue edged higher.
The company reported €90.9 million in operating profit in the three months to the end of September, slightly lower than in 2011, but overall figures for the year to date were €86.5 million - almost 30 per cent ahead of the same period last year.
The airline said its business was hit during the quarter by lower demand on its London routes during the Olympic Game, and retail revenue, which includes passenger spending on baggage fees and other items, was also lower.
Overall passenger numbers were 2 per cent higher in the quarter when Aer Lingus Regional routes were taken into account, while overall yield per passenger was up 7.2 per cent. Revenue rose by 5.5 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2011.
Chief executive Christoph Mueller said the “strong” third quarter followed a “solid” performance in the first half of the year, and was due to the company’s success in implementing it strategy to manage capacity across its network.
"We remain focused on achieving continued cost savings and greater efficiency within the business against a challenging macro economic backdrop, an increasingly competitive environment and continued inflation in fuel prices and airport charges," he said.
Aer Lingus is currently trying to stave off a takeover bid by rival and shareholder Ryanair. The airline has called on shareholders to reject the bid, saying it undervalues Aer Lingus’s business, and European competition regulators are also examining the bid.