Air France profits rise, further rise predicted

Air France-KLM has posted full year operating profit up 32.5 percent to 1.24 billlion euros. Sales rose 7.6 percent to 23.07 billion eurs. Yet higher passenger activity was offset by a rising fuel bill.
The airline is expeciting a rise in operating profit and a 7 percent return on capital employed over the 2007-8 financial year.

Results reflect the success of their profitable growth strategy, the company said in a statement, Major points:

Revenues up 7.6% to 23.07 billion euros
Operating income up 32.5% to 1.24 billon euros
Further increase in adjusted operating margin1 to 6.3% (+0.9 points)
Return on capital employed of 6.5%, up 1.3 points
Dividend of 48 euro cents (+60%)

Financial Year 2007-08: Objective Of A Further Increase In Operating Income And A 7% Return On Capital Employed

“This past year has demonstrated the benefits of our profitable growth strategy. We have taken advantage of global growth to develop our business in all major markets and increase our profitability through cost control while continuing to invest in our future “, said Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta during the Board of Directors meeting of May 23rd 2007 to approve the accounts for Financial Year 2006-07, adding:


“This financial year also draws to a close the first phase in the merger of Air France and KLM which has resulted in significant value creation for both the group and its shareholders. Today marks the start of a new phase, which will see the deeper integration of the strategic functions of the group. This will enable us to further enhance our profitability, with a target return on capital employed of 8.5% by 2009-10.”

“Our strong fundamentals combined with our significant competitive advantages as well as the positive outlook for global growth and the commitment of our employees make me confident we can achieve this target. In this context, the Board will propose to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting a dividend of 48 Euro cents in respect of financial year 2006-07, and favours, for the coming years the implementation of a solid dividend policy, subject to growth in net income excluding exceptional items.”