Air Berlin Q3 EBIT Rises To EUR€171.7 Mln

November 1, 2010

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Air Berlin's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose in the third quarter to EUR€171.7 million from EUR€118 million a year earlier, the airline said.

Announcing preliminary third-quarter results, the company said total revenue rose to EUR€1.241 billion from EUR€974 million during the same period a year earlier.

"The net result in the third quarter 2010 amounts to EUR€135.9 million after EUR€95.2 million in the previous year's third quarter," the company added in a statement, citing "increasingly positive" demand during the quarter.

Over the first nine months of this year, EBIT fell to EUR€44.8 million from EUR€48.3 million in 2009, the company said.

Revenue over the first nine months rose on the year by 13.7 percent to EUR€2.809 billion, the company added.

"The equity ratio increased from 20 percent in the previous quarter to 22 percent in the third quarter of 2010; net debt... decreased from EUR€493 million to EUR€438 million," it said.

Separately Air Berlin said it plans to spend up to EUR€125 million (USD$173.5 million) to buy back a convertible bond and issue a new bond as it works to cut its net debt.

It said its shareholders can offer their outstanding bond, which was due for conversion into Air Berlin shares in 2014, to the company by November 11.

Air Berlin over the past few years bought business travel carrier dba, charter airline LTU, TUIfly's city routes and raised its stake in Austria's Niki to almost 50 percent.

To cut its debt amid the global economic crisis that caused a sharp slump in demand for air travel, it has sold aircraft, cancelled some firm orders for the Boeing 787 and issued the EUR€125 million convertible bond.

It said on Monday it will issue the new bond around November 10 It will have a coupon of 8.5 percent and a volume of up to EUR€200 million and will mature in 2015.

(Reuters)