Air New Zealand annual profit soars to five-year high

WELLINGTON, August 28, 2013 (AFP) – Air New Zealand posted a 156 percent jump in annual net profit Thursday, the flag carrier’s best result in five years. The airline said net profit for the 12 months to June 30 was NZ$182 million ($142 million), up from NZ$71 million in the previous year.

Chairman John Palmer said the result placed Air New Zealand among the best-performing airlines in the world and the outlook for the current financial year was “encouraging”.

“We are focused on further improving on this result in the 2014 financial year,” he said in a statement.

“Based on the airline’s forecast of market demand and fuel prices at current levels, early results and forward bookings are encouraging.”

The airline’s revenues were up three percent at NZ$4.6 billion, while operating cash flow was a record NZ$750 million.

Palmer also announced he will step down in September, after almost 12 years at the helm. “Air New Zealand would not be the airline it is today without John Palmer’s leadership of the board for more than a decade,” chief executive Christopher Luxon said.