espite the still difficult economic situation and the sharp fall in the dollar, turnover rose 7.9% thanks to the upturn in passenger activity during this quarter and the resilient cargo activity.
The scheduled passenger revenues of the Air France Group grew by 10.1% for a 14.4% increase in traffic. The load factor rose 5.5 points to 75.4%. Group unit revenue per available seat-km (RASK) increased by 5.4% excluding currency (1.7%) and network mix (0.3%) effects. After adjusting for these effects, yield per revenue passenger-km (RRPK) dropped by 2.2%.
Traffic grew by 7.2% for a 9.5% increase in capacity, leading to a 1.4-point loss in the load factor, which reached 66.5%. Excluding currency, unit revenue dropped by 1.6%.
For a 7.9% increase in consolidated turnover to 3.14 billion euros, operating expenditure only grew by 3.7% to 3.13 billion euros. EBITDAR substantially improved by 44.8% to 378 million euros. This figure is higher than the third quarter of fiscal 2000-01. Before aircraft disposals (2 million euros), operating profit came to 2 million euros (114-million loss and 48-million loss respectively at 31 December 2001 and 2000). Air France posted an operating profit of 4 million euros after aircraft disposals (112-million loss and 21-million loss in 2001 and 2000).
Unit costs per equivalent available seat-km (EASK) dropped by 1.7%. Excluding currency (2.2%) and fuel prices (0.7%), they decreased by 0.3%.
The Group`s net consolidated income came to € 2 million against a € 131-million loss at 31 December 2001.
Scheduled passenger revenues improved by 3.3% during the first nine months, in line with the 3.3% increase in traffic and 2.2% increase in capacity. The load factor attained 76.7% (up 0.8 point).
Group unit revenue per available seat-km (RASK) grew by 2.0% excluding currency (1.6%) and network mix (0.5%) effects. Adjusted for these effects, yield per revenue passenger-km (RRPK) gained 1.0%.
Consolidated turnover stood at 9.69 billion euros (up 2.1%) including 9.17 billion for air transport, i.e. 95% of the total. Maintenance revenues came to 409 million euros (down 1.4%) and other activities to 105 million (down 10.3%).
Unit costs per equivalent available seat-km (EASK) dropped 0.9%. After adjusting for currency (2.0%) and fuel prices (0.7%), they rose by 1.8% of which 1.3% due to the higher cost of insurance and navigation and airport fees.
EBITDAR rose to 1.44 billion euros, up15.4%. The EBITDAR margin improved to 14.9%, which is higher than at 31 December 2000. Operating income before aircraft disposals totalled 295 million euros against 157 million a year ago. After aircraft disposals of 20 million euros (56 million at 31 December 2001), operating income rose to 315 million euros against 213 at 31 December 2001. It breaks down as follows:
- passenger activity: 206 million euros against 96 in the previous year,
- cargo activity: 22 million euros against a 4-million loss at 31 December 2001,
- maintenance: 65 million euros against 59 million at 31 December 2001,
- other: 22 million against 62 million one year earlier.
Net financial charges improved (- 48 million compared with -85 million) thanks to a solid financial structure and currency gains of 56 million euros.
Before taxes, income rose to 278 million against 165 million last year, and after taxes net consolidated income for the Group attained 218 million euros (up 43.4%).
The debt/equity ratio stabilized at 0.71 (0.73 at 31 March 2002). Equity came to 4.14 billion euros and net debt to 2.96 billion. For the first nine months, investments rose to 984 million euros, and were financed by operating cash flow of 703 million and 218 million of disposals
The results of the last quarter are in line with the Company`s expectations. The current quarter started off with severe disruption to operations due to the snow storm on 4 and 5 January. In addition, the pilots` strike in early February, where participation was low, led to a loss of earnings of around 12 million euros. Despite these difficulties and, in the absence of a worsening of the economic situation due to the Middle East crisis, the target of a higher operating profit than last year (excluding aircraft disposals) remains achievable.