Copa Holdings, parent company of Copa Airlines and Aero Republica, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008 (4Q08) and full year 2008. The terms “Copa Holdings” or “the Company” refers to the consolidated entity, whose operating subsidiaries are Copa Airlines and Aero Republica. The following financial and operating information, unless otherwise indicated, is presented in accordance with US GAAP. Unless otherwise stated, all comparisons with prior periods refer to the fourth quarter of 2007 (4Q07).OPERATING AND FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
? Copa Holdings reported net income of US$51.9 million for 4Q08 or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.20, as compared to net income of US$35.5 million or diluted EPS of US$0.82 in 4Q07. Excluding special items, which for 4Q08 include a US$12.2 million non-cash charge associated with the mark-to-market of fuel hedge contracts, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $64.1 million, or $1.48 per share. See the accompanying reconciliation of non-GAAP financial information to GAAP financial information included in financial tables section of this earnings release.
? Net income for full year 2008 reached US$152.2 million or diluted EPS of US$3.50, compared to US$161.8 million or diluted EPS of US$3.72 for full year 2007. Excluding special items, which for 2008 include a US$20.2 million non-cash charge associated with the mark-to-market of fuel hedge contracts, Copa Holdings would have reported an adjusted net income of $172.4 million, or $3.97 per share.
? The Company reported record operating income for 4Q08, reaching US$84.0 million, a 95.5% increase compared to operating income of US$43.0 million recorded in 4Q07. Operating margin increased 9.2 percentage points, from 15.1% in 4Q07 to 24.3% in 4Q08, mainly due higher unit revenues.
? The Company reported operating income of US$224.0 million for full year 2008, a 13.4% increase as compared to operating income of US$197.5 million in 2007. Operating margin for 2008 reached 17.4%, one of the best margins in the airline industry.
? Total revenues for 4Q08 increased 21.6% to US$346.1 million. Yield per passenger mile increased 6.0% to 18.5 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 5.8% to 14.6 cents.
? For 4Q08 consolidated passenger traffic grew 15.5% while capacity increased 15.0%. As a result, consolidated load factor for the quarter increased 0.3 percentage points to 74.1%.
? Operating cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 5.7%, from 11.7 cents in 4Q07 to 11.0 cents in 4Q08. CASM, excluding fuel costs and special items, decreased 5.4% from 7.6 cents in 4Q07 to 7.2 cents in 4Q08, mainly due to lower average commissions.
? The Company ended the year with a strong cash position, totaling US$408.1 million in cash, short term and long term investment, which represent approximately 32% of last twelve months« revenues. This figure includes US$47.3 million in restricted cash, of which $39.7 million are collateral for out-of-money hedge contracts related to future quarters. Additionally, the company has committed lines of credit totaling $31.1 million.
? In 4Q08, Copa Airlines began service to three new destinations: Oranjestad (Aruba), Valencia (Venezuela) and Santa Cruz (Bolivia). Copa Airlines« network currently serves 45 destinations in 24 countries in the Americas - by far, the most extensive network for intra-Latin American travel.
? During the fourth quarter, Copa Airlines took delivery of two Embraer-190 aircraft. Copa Airlines ended the year with a fleet of 42 aircraft, consisting of 27 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft and 15 Embraer-190 aircraft. Copa Holdings ended the year with a consolidated fleet of 55 aircraft.
? For 2008, Copa Airlines reported on-time performance of 87.5% and a flight-completion factor of 99.6%, maintaining its position among the best in the industry. Additionally, Aero Republica’s on- time performance came in at 84.2%, leading the Colombian market both in domestic and international on-time performance
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