Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways says net profit tripled last year as the fast-growing carrier added routes and code-share arrangements in its expanding rivalries with other premium Gulf airlines - the company is likely to buy a huge stake in Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways soon.
Government-owned Etihad said today that 2012 net profit jumped to USD 42 million, compared to USD 14 million in 2011.
Revenue rose 17 per cent to USD 4.8 billion.
Etihad began flying to six new destinations last year, including Shanghai and Kenya's capital, Nairobi. It also has announced expanded service this year to Washington and other cities.
Eithad has aggressively sought to expand cost-share agreements and purchase stakes in foreign airlines such as airberlin and Virgin Australia.
The carrier is locked in deepening competition with Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates.
Etihad Airways posts 200 per cent rise in 2012 net profit
(AFP) Etihad Airways, the fast-growing carrier of Abu Dhabi, posted a 200 per cent rise in net profit in 2012 and a 17 percent increase in revenues, the airlines said in a statement today.
Etihad posted a net income of USD 42 million last year compared to USD 14 million in 2011 when it made its first ever profit, said the statement which attributed the rise to strong improvements in revenues, passengers and cost control.
The flag carrier of the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi said revenues increased to USD 4.8 billion in 2012 compared to USD 4.1 billion the previous year.
The number of passengers grew a healthy 23 percent to 10.3 million compared to 8.4 million in 2011, significantly boosted by Etihad's partnerships which delivered more than USD 600 million in total revenue.
"This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways," James Hogan, the airline's president and chief executive officer said.
"We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment," he said in the statement.
Etihad said it succeeded in building the first "equity alliance" with investments of 40 per cent in Air Seychelles, 29.2 percent in Air Berlin, 9.0 per cent in Virgin Australia and about 3.0 percent in Air Lingus.
"We have taken great strides in building the industry's first equity alliance ... which (is) contributing significant value to our business," Hogan said.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 24 per cent to USD 170 million, while EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to USD 753 million, up 16 per cent, Etihad said.
Hogan said more than 50 institutions have provided around USD 6.8 billion in cumulative funding for the airline's ongoing expansion.
Planned fleet upgrades for 2013 include 14 aircraft, with 11 passenger aircraft deliveries and three freighter deliveries, Etihad said.
The orders are for nine wide-bodied Boeing and Airbus aircraft and five narrow-body Airbus aircraft. These will meet Etihad Airways' immediate growth requirements.
At the end of 2012, the company had 10,656 employees, 18 percent more than in 2011, representing more than 125 nationalities.
Etihad Airways, which began operations in 2003, serves 86 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways 2012 profit triples
(Reuters): Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, which is edging closer to an investment in India's Jet Airways , on Monday said net profit tripled in 2012 as its fast-expanding global network attracted more passengers.
Etihad, which has stakes in Air Berlin and Virgin Australia, earned a net profit of $42 million in 2012, compared with $14 million in the previous year.
Revenue rose 17 percent in 2012 to $4.8 billion from $4.1 billion in 2011, the airline said in a statement.
The eight-year old carrier made its first profit in 2011.
Unlisted Etihad has been on an acquisition drive in recent months, taking minority equity stakes in Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus and raising its shareholding in Air Berlin and Air Seychelles.
A deal with Jet Aiways, which would be the first foreign investment into India's aviation market, is expected this week, an official at the Indian airline, who declined to be identified, said in January.
The UAE carrier competes with key Gulf rivals like Emirates and Qatar Airways, which are all growing their reach into Europe, Asia and other markets.
Etihad said it carried 10.3 million passengers last year, up 23 percent over 2011. The average seat factor was 78.2 percent, up 2.4 percent over 2011.
Equity and code share partners contributed to more than 1.2 million passengers tapping Etihad's network. The airline hedged 80 percent of fuel costs during the year, the same level as in 2011.