AFKL Financial Year 2014: First Quarter results
First quarter results on track, full year 2014 outlook: Objectives Confirmed
The Board of Directors of Air France-KLM, chaired by Alexandre de Juniac, met on 29th April 2014 to approve the accounts for the First Quarter 2014.
FIRST QUARTER RESULTS ON TRACK
- Revenues of 5.55 billion euros, stable on a like-for-like basis, impacted by Easter calendar effect
- Operating result of -445 million euros, an improvement of 87 million euros
- EBITDA1 of -50 million euros, an improvement of 66 million euros
- Reported unit cost down 4.3%, and 1.7% like-for-like
FULL YEAR 2014 OUTLOOK: OBJECTIVES CONFIRMED
- Positive effect of Transform 2015
- Operating environment remains tough
- Measures underway to address headwinds from Caracas route and the slower than expected recovery in cargo demand
 See definition in appendix
First Quarter 2014 revenues stood at 5,554 million euros versus 5,681 million euros in 2013, down 2.2%, but stable on a constant currency and scope basis (like-for-like). Currencies had a negative 108 million euro impact on revenues.
Operating costs were reduced by 3.4% and by 2.0% on a constant currency basis. Ex-fuel, they decreased by 2.3%, and by 1.3% on a constant currency basis. Unit cost per EASK1 (Equivalent Available Seat Kilometer) was reduced by 4.3%, and by 1.7% on a constant currency, fuel price and pension expense basis, against capacity measured in EASK up by 1.2%. The fuel bill amounted to 1,553 million euros, down 6.3%, and down 3.5% on a constant currency basis. Total employee costs including temporary staff were down 3.8% to 1,846 million euros, and by 3.6% on a constant currency basis. At constant pension expense and scope, they declined by 60 million euros, well on track towards the 120 million euro reduction targeted for the full year.
EBITDA amounted to -50 million euros, an improvement of 66 million euros. The EBITDA margin stood at -1.0%, a 1.0 point improvement on 2013. The operating result stood at -445 million euros versus -532 million euros in 2013, an 87 million euro improvement. Currencies had a 15 million euro net negative impact on First Quarter operating result.
Net result, group share stood at -608 million euros against -641 million euros a year ago. It was impacted by 117 million euros of foreign exchange losses, in particular related to an adjustment in the value of the cash held by the Group in Venezuela, to take into account the currency conversion risk. On an adjusted basis, the net result, group share stood at -485 million euros against-652 million in First Quarter 2013, a 167 million euro improvement.
Earnings and diluted earnings per share both stood at -2.05 euros (-2.17 euros in 2013), and at -1.64 euros on an adjusted basis (-2.20 euros in 2013).
 See definition in appendix
First Quarter 2014 passenger revenues amounted to 4,365 million euros, down 1.9%, but stable on a constant currency basis. The passenger business was particularly impacted by the calendar effect of Easter, which fell in March last year. The operating result of the passenger business stood at -378 million euros, versus -447 million euros in Q1 2013, an improvement of 80 million euros on a constant currency basis.
Total passenger traffic rose by 2.1% while capacity rose by 1.3% leading to a 0.6 point improvement in load factor to 82.8%. Unit revenue per Available Seat Kilometer (RASK) fell by 2.5% and by 0.7% like-for-like. Unit costs (CASK) were reduced by 3.9% and by 2.4% like-for-like.
Long-haul traffic rose 2.2% for a 2.1% rise in capacity, leading to a stable load factor at 85.2%. Long-haul RASK was down 0.4% like-for-like.
As planned in the framework of Transform 2015, medium-haul capacity was reduced by 2.2%. Traffic rose by 1.6%, leading to a 2.7 point improvement in load factor to 73.3%. Medium-haul RASK improved by 0.6% like-for-like.
First Quarter 2014 cargo revenues amounted to 676 million euros, down 3.4% and by 1.3% on a constant currency basis. Traffic experienced a slight upturn, rising by 1.9% for a 0.9% decline in capacity, leading to a 1.8 point increase in load factor to 64.8%. However, the yield remained weak, leading to a 1.0% decline in unit revenue per Available Ton Kilometer (RATK) on a constant currency basis (-3.0% on a reported basis).
Thanks to a reduction in unit cost (down 3.7% on a constant currency basis, and 5.4% on a reported basis), the operating result improved, from -50 million euros in Q1 2013 to -34 million euros. Nevertheless the recovery of cargo demand is taking longer than expected, and further scenarios are now under consideration to restructure the full freighter business in order to accelerate the turnaround.
First Quarter 2014 third party maintenance revenues amounted to 290 million euros, down 4.0% and by 1.9% on a constant currency basis, reflecting quarterly variations in the scheduling of engine shop visits. The operating result stood at 22 million euros, up 2 million euros year-on-year. The operating margin stood at 2.7% versus 2.5% a year earlier. In the quarter, the group recorded a 15% increase in its order book to 5.2 billion euros, including a major contract with Air China to cover the maintenance of GE90 engines.
Other business: Transavia
In First Quarter 2014 Transavia traffic rose 8.4% for capacity up 7.6%, leading to a 0.6 point increase in load factor to 86.3%. Unit revenue was down 4.3%, also affected by Easter timing. Transavia’s total revenue stood at 139 million euros, up 3.7%. The operating result was -58 million euros, down 7 million euros year-on-year.
Other business: Catering
First Quarter 2014 third party catering revenues amounted to 73 million euros, down 13.1% reflecting the deconsolidation of Air Chef. They were up 12.3% at constant scope.
The further improvement in EBITDA translated into an 84 million euro increase in cash flow before change in WCR and the cash out related to Voluntary Departure Plans.
In the First Quarter net investments before sale & lease-back transactions stood at 327 million euros, in line with the Transform 2015 full year capex budget. Operating free cash flow amounted to -80 million euros, versus a positive 40 million euros a year earlier, partly due to the fact that Q1 2013 benefited from a cash inflow of 77 million euros from sale and lease-back transactions.
Net debt amounted to 5.54 billion euros at 31 March 2014, versus 5.35 billion euros at 31 December 2013. The slight increase in net debt reflects foreign exchange losses partly relating to Venezuela. At 2.9x, the net debt / EBITDA ratio was stable compared to 31 December 2013.
Delivery on the Transform 2015 plan is fully on track. However, the general operating environment remains tough. Under these conditions, the group remains committed to its objective of an EBITDA in the region of 2.5 billion euros in Full Year 2014, subject to the successful implementation of the measures aimed at compensating for the slower than expected recovery in cargo demand and the network adjustments linked to the situation on the Caracas route, and no reversal in other operating trends. The group will continue to reduce its net debt in line with its objective of 4.5 billion euros in 2015.