Air France-KLM, the leading Franco-Dutch carrier group, has released its financial results for the third quarter of the year. Here are the key details:
The company reported a revenue of €8.66 billion ($9.15 billion) for the three-month period ending in September. This represents a significant increase of 6.8% compared to the previous year. However, the figure falls slightly below the forecast of €8.72 billion provided by the company.
Net profit for the quarter surged to €931 million from €460 million, showcasing a remarkable growth. Operating profit also saw a significant jump, reaching €1.34 billion from €1.02 billion, resulting in a strong operating margin of 15.5%. While the actual figures exceeded expectations, analysts predicted a net profit of €957 million and an operating profit of €1.37 billion.
Capacity and Demand
Air France-KLM experienced a surge in demand for air travel during the summer, which contributed to the increase in revenue and profit for the third quarter. The company remains optimistic and expects the capacity for this year to reach approximately 95% of the levels seen in 2019.
Fuel expenses rose to €1.92 billion for the third quarter, surpassing the €1.66 billion paid in the previous quarter. This came as a slight surprise, exceeding consensus estimates by 4%, according to Citi analysts. Overall, Air France-KLM anticipates a fuel bill of $7.8 billion for the entire year. In addition to fuel costs, the company faces inflation-driven expenses related to higher salaries, air traffic control charges, and airport fees. Despite these challenges, the group foresees a modest single-digit increase in costs for the year.
A strategic move towards expanding its presence in Scandinavian markets, Air France-KLM recently invested $144.5 million to acquire a stake of up to 19.9% in SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). This investment aligns with the group’s aims and objectives. Furthermore, the company has also expressed interest in TAP Air Portugal, considering the Portuguese government’s plans to sell a majority stake in the flag carrier.