Swiss International Air Lines (Group) improved its earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to CHF 231 million for the 2006 business year (prior year: minus CHF 14 million). Consolidated net profit for the year amounted to CHF 263 million, which compares to a net loss of CHF 178 million for 2005. For the fourth quarter of 2006, SWISS reported an EBIT of CHF 32 million, having sustained a negative EBIT of CHF 38 million for the prior-year period.
SWISS generated total income from operating activities of CHF 4 153 million in 2006, an 11.3% improvement on the CHF 3 732 million of the prior year. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) totalled CHF 231 million (prior year: minus CHF 14 million). Net profit for the year amounted to CHF 263 million (compared to a net loss of CHF 178 million for 2005). SWISS maintained its revenue and earnings growth in the fourth quarter of 2006.Total income from operating activities for October to December amounted to CHF 1 098 million (prior-year period: CHF 998 million), while EBIT for the quarter totalled CHF 32 million (prior-year period: minus CHF 38 million). With economic conditions remaining favourable, SWISS thus posted both higher revenues and an operating profit in every quarter of 2006.
"SWISS achieved its turnaround and began to climb in 2006," says CEO Christoph Franz, commenting on the results. "We made further progress in improving our cost base. But this is still not sufficiently competitive yet. The cost and revenue synergies deriving from our integration into the Lufthansa Group account for about half of our operating result. And the currently positive economic environment is giving us additional lift."
"We are now in a position to take advantage of opportunities for growth and invest in our product," Franz continues. "And we are particularly pleased to be creating new jobs: our fleet expansion is adding around 600 people to our personnel ranks. Our declared goal, however, remains an average EBIT margin of between 5 and 8 per cent over the economic cycle of several years. We're still a fair way from that; and it's only when we get there that we will have reached our required cruising altitude."
High load factors and slightly higher yields (revenue per passenger-kilometre) are behind the substantial increase in operating income for the year. SWISS also enhanced its productivity and secured new contractual terms with key suppliers: the fourth quarter, for example, saw the conclusion of a new agreement with Swissport covering ground handling services in Switzerland.