Air NZ profit takes off
Air NZ has delivered its best annual result in five years, posting a 156 per cent increase in net profit.
The NZX-listed airline reported a net profit of $182 million for the year to June 30. Operating cashflow soared to its highest ever level at $750m.
Chairman John Palmer said the result placed the company among the best performing airlines globally.
The strong result would allow it to reinvest in products, services, training and development to further enhance the customer experience and to connect more people and businesses than ever to, from and within New Zealand, he said.
Air NZ had committed to investing $1.8 billion in aircraft for its domestic and international services during the next three years, the company said.
Passenger numbers were up 2.2 per cent to 13.4 million for the year.
The company, majority owned by the government, reported annual operating revenue of $4.6b, up 3 per cent. Pre-tax profit was $256m, an increase of 172 per cent.
Air NZ announced a fully imputed final dividend of 5 cents per share, taking the total dividend for the year to 8 cents per share, a 45 per cent increase on the previous year.
Chief executive Christopher Luxon said the company's 11,000 staff were working together with the goal of growing the company and enhancing customer experience.
"We have a range of initiatives that will roll out during the 2014 financial year as we reinvest in the business to keep us ahead of the competition."
The airline was also focussing on growing the cargo side of the business, which had delivered a strong result despite a tough industry backdrop, he said.
To date the firm had spent about $275m to acquire 19.99 per cent of Virgin Australia.
It had contracted to buy a further 3 per cent to lift its shareholding to 22.99 per cent, subject to approval by the Australian competition authority.
Air NZ said it was investing in Virgin to gain exposure to the Australian domestic aviation market.
The Australian market was large, and growing, and complemented its New Zealand domestic, Tasman and international market exposures, Luxon said.
The company's shares last traded at $1.37, about 35 per cent higher than this time last year.
- © Fairfax NZ News