Sabato, 25 Mag, 2019

Flybe tackles capacity issues after £20m loss

Reuters Reuters
Sveva Terracina | 08 Giugno, 2017, 13:37

The company reported an adjusted pretax loss of £6.7m for the year to March 31, compared to a £5.5m profit the previous year.

In January the firm warned poor weather and weak consumer confidence had slowed growth at the start of the fourth quarter.

Profitability was also affected by write-downs of £4.8m relating to the airline's new IT platform.

The airline, under its new CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said passenger numbers during the last financial year rose by 7.6% to 8.8 million, which reflected the immaturity of new routes and resulted in lower load factor, down 3ppts to 69.6%.

The group's legacy commitments to acquire additional aircraft caused the business to increase flown capacity by 12.3% to 12.7mln seats.

The company has deployed its additional capacity on new routes and increased frequencies on existing routes, exclusively where these deployments could deliver at least a contribution to direct costs.

Liberum Capital analyst Gerald Khoo reiterated a "buy" rating and 50p price target on Flybe. "The interpretation of the figures was complicated by IT write-offs being taken above the line - we had treated them as exceptional.".

Flybe's own difficulties had been compounded by its large exposure to the United Kingdom, where demand has experienced some turbulence after the vote to leave the European Union, and due to its own rapid capacity growth due to legacy commitments for additional aircraft.

"These headwinds are starting to moderate, although the full benefit of taking back control of capacity will not be felt until March 2019E. However, forward booking trends point to unit revenue improvements that we view as encouraging".

Earlier this week, Flybe unveiled an alliance with UK-based regional airline Eastern Airways, a month after agreeing an expansion of a similar franchise agreement with Stobart Air.

Slow traffic growth coupled with running a few loss making routes and a number of failed joint ventures weighed heavily on the airline past year.


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