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Natural disasters drag down profits at Air New Zealand

Natural disasters drag down profits at Air New Zealand

National flag-carrier Air New Zealand saw profits slump by nearly half in 2011 as a series of natural disasters took a toll.

Overall, the carrier reported a 45 per cent slump in annual earnings, as earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan saw passengers numbers fall.

Normalised earnings before tax in the year to June 30th were NZ$75 million, down from NZ$137 million in the previous 12 months.

“Natural disasters and sustained high fuel prices dramatically altered what was shaping up to be a very positive full year result,” said Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer.

“Nevertheless, this backdrop of adversity has again highlighted the resilience of Air New Zealand in the most challenging of times.”

The carrier is 76 per cent government-owned.

However, there was some positive news.

Operating revenue at Air New Zealand increased seven per cent to NZ$4.34 billion, while passenger loads were up 1.6 points to 83.4 per cent.

Air New Zealand is also expecting to benefit from the Rugby World Cup, which is taking place in the country from September 9th to October 23rd.

The event is expected to boost revenue to the tune of NZ$30 million.