Sunday, 27 December 2009

Aeroflot Shares Increase 9% on Cost Cutting

Shares in Aeroflot, the biggest airline in Eastern Europe, jumped the most in almost 11 months on Wednesday after the state carrier cut costs more than analysts expected and forecast a 25 percent gain in passenger traffic next year.
Aeroflot shares rose 9.1 percent to 52.37 rubles at the close in Moscow trading, the biggest gain since Jan. 26. The shares closed at their highest value since Nov. 17, 2008.
Aeroflot said late Tuesday that it slashed operating costs 34 percent to $2.16 billion in the first nine months of the year. That helped the company increase net income 21 percent to $170.4 million, even as revenue declined 31 percent to $2.46 billion.
“Aeroflot continued to demonstrate strong operating performance after the end of the high season,” VTB Capital analysts led by Yelena Sakhanova wrote in a research note Wednesday. The growth in profitability on weaker revenue “points to a market recovery and provides sound optimism to management,” VTB added.
Fuel expenses, the biggest cost item, declined 59 percent in January through September, helped by lower prices and a switch to a bidding system for suppliers. Payroll costs declined 24 percent as Aeroflot cut 4 percent of its staff.
Aeroflot expects to increase passenger traffic 25 percent next year versus this year and raise the ratio of filled seats per flight to 72 percent from about 69 percent now.
“The reported results and the company outlook will be a trigger for the stock,” said Andrei Rozhkov, an analyst at Metropol.

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