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Air France-KLM Posts Profit In Q4; Warns Of Coronavirus Impact On Earnings

Air France-KLM Group (AFRAF.PK) reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income - Group part was 156 million euros, compared to restated net loss- Group part of 217 million euros last year.

The company also said that the coronavirus outbreak could negatively impact its operating result by up to 200 million euros for the period from February to April 2020.

EBITDA for the fourth quarter rose 8.2 percent to 867 million euros from 801 million euros in the previous year.

Revenues for the quarter grew 1.9 percent to 6.62 billion euros from 6.49 billion euros last year. Revenue increased 0.5 percent at constant currency.

Looking ahead, Air-France KLM said that following a good performance for the Passenger Network activity with positive unit revenue in January 2020, recent developments with regards to the Covid-19 have impacted the demand outlook, especially in the Asian network.

The company noted that this translates in long-haul forward booking load factors down from February to May 2020. As a consequence, the Group anticipates unit revenues at constant currency to decline for the first quarter of 2020.

The Cargo activity is also impacted by Covid-19, which is foreseen to maintain pressure on the load factor and yield in the first part of 2020.

Based on the Group announcement of suspension of China operations in February/March and possible resumption of operations starting from April 2020, the company said that the high-level estimated impact on operating result is of between -150 million euros and -200 million euros for the period from February to April 2020.

For fiscal 2020, Air France-KLM projects unit cost reduction of between -1 percent and 0 percent at constant currency and fuel price. The company expects the 2020 fuel bill to decrease by 300 million euros compared to 2019 to 5.2 billion euros, based on the forward curve of 14 February 2020.

In 2020, the Air France-KLM Group plans to selectively grow capacity by 2 percent to 3 percent compared to 2019. However, the company added that capacity implications due to the Covid-19-related flight suspensions are expected to reduce capacity growth to or below the lower-end of this guided range.

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