Etihad Airways achieved its strongest financial results to date in 2014, posting a net profit of US$ 73 million on total revenues of US$ 7.6 billion.
The figures are up 52.1 per cent and 26.7 per cent respectively over the previous year.
The performance, which marked the airline’s fourth consecutive year of net profitability, also saw earnings before interest and tax up 32.5 per cent to US$ 257 million.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals were up 16.2 per cent to US$ 1.1 billion, representing a 15 per cent margin on total revenues.
Etihad president James Hogan said: “Our shareholder has set a clear commercial mandate for this business and we continue to deliver against that mandate.
“Our focus is on sustainable profitability and our fourth year of net profits, at a time when we continue to invest in the new routes, new aircraft, new product and new infrastructure needed to compete effectively, shows we are serious about that goal.
“Our performance in 2014 has cemented Etihad Airways’ position as a best-in-class, profitable and self-sustaining international airline.
“We have continued to grow, not just in size, reputation and performance, but also in maturity, evolving from an airline to a diverse global aviation and tourism group.
“This has been achieved through a unique strategy that combines industry-leading organic growth with wide-ranging partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines around the world.”
Etihad was once again recognised as the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards in 2014.
Etihad Airways carried a total of 14.8 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 22.3 per cent year-on-year.
Revenue Passenger Kilometres – measuring passenger journeys - increased by 23.6 per cent to 68.6 billion, while Available Seat Kilometres – representing capacity - grew by 21.8 per cent to 86.6 billion.
The growth in passenger demand and revenue over the 12-month period continued to outstrip Etihad Airways’ capacity increase, highlighting the strength of its long-term growth strategy.
A key driver of Etihad Airways’ growth in 2014 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging codeshares and its unique approach of minority equity investments in strategically important airlines.
This has accelerated network growth, giving Etihad Airways the largest route network of any Middle Eastern carrier, reaching more than 500 destinations.
It has boosted sales and marketing opportunities in key markets, as well as allowing significant business synergies and cost savings.
This strategy delivered revenues of US$ 1.1 billion in 2014, an increase of 37.7 per cent (US$ 820 million), and represented 24 per cent of Etihad Airways’ total passenger revenues.
In 2014, Etihad Airways received final approval for its 49 per cent investment in Air Serbia.
It also invested €560 million to acquire a 49 per cent shareholding in New Alitalia, a 75 per cent interest in Alitalia Loyalty, which operates the MilleMiglia frequent flier program, and the future purchase of five pairs of London Heathrow Airport slots for lease back to Alitalia.
The transaction became effective on December 31st 2014, after receiving European Commission merger clearance.