Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has reported net profit of US$42 million for 2012, up 200 per cent on 2011.
The report follows a year which saw strong improvements in revenues, passengers numbers and cost control.
Revenue increased 17 per cent to US$4.8 billion, on passenger numbers up 23 per cent to 10.3 million.
These numbers were boosted significantly by Etihad Airways’ equity partnerships and codeshares, which delivered more than US$600 million in total revenue.
James Hogan, Etihad chief executive, said: “This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways.
“We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment.
“We have taken great strides in building the industry’s first ‘equity alliance’, with our investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus, which are contributing significant value to our business.
“And we have met our mandate of contributing to the economic development of Abu Dhabi, growing its aviation sector and building trade and tourism connections across the globe.”
Earnings before interest and tax rose 24 per cent to US$170 million, while EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to US$753 million, a margin of 16 per cent on total revenue.
Hogan added Etihad Airways attracted further support from the global financial community in 2012.
More than 50 institutions have now provided more than US$6.8 billion in cumulative funding for the airline’s ongoing expansion.
James Hogan, left, announces the results this morning
“Our bankers understand and trust our business, our vision and our potential,” Hogan added said.
During the year, growth in revenue passenger kilometres outpaced growth in available seat kilometres for the fourth year running.
RPKs were up 23 per cent to 48 billion, on ASKs up 20 per cent to 61 billion, resulting in an impressive lift in seat factor of 2.4 points to 78.2 per cent.
Equity and codeshare partners delivered more than 1.2 million passengers onto the Etihad Airways network.
airberlin, in which Etihad Airways holds a 29.21 per cent stake, made a very strong contribution, with more than 300,000 passengers shared between their networks, delivering more than US$130 million in total to the two airlines.
Despite the increase in global oil prices during 2012, Etihad Airways minimised the impact through its rigorous fuel hedging policy.
The airline hedged 80 per cent of fuel costs during the year, the same level as in 2011.
Careful cost management in all other areas of the business saw non-fuel costs per available seat kilometre reduced by five per cent.
Etihad Airways’ costs were benchmarked as being in the lowest quartile against other major, full-service airlines by independent analysts, Seabury.
“We understand how to manage costs without compromising our innovative product and outstanding service experience,” Hogan concluded.
Etihad is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.