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Aviation

Air France-KLM logs net loss, but operating profit increases

Franco-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM has said it has managed to return to a decent operating profit. But the bottom-line result was less gratifying, as the company struggled with low-budget competitors.

Air France-KLM reported Thursday it logged an increased net loss of 1.83 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in 2013, from 1.22 billion in the previous year.

Finance Director Pierre-Francois Riolacci hastened to say the result reflected a technical write-down related to tax flows and had no impact whatsoever on the company's cash position and solvency.

Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac confirmed there was no need for a capital increase, as the firm's ratios were improving overall.

Turning the corner

Europe's second-biggest carrier after Germany's Lufthansa, Air France-KLM announced its recent restructuring drive had generated a switch back into an operating profit of 130 million euros, despite tough competition from low-budget rivals and the rise of newcomers in the Middle East and Asia.

"2013 marked an important stage in the group's turnaround," de Juniac maintained. "We're clearly benefitting from the successful implementation of the industrial plans adopted in all our business segments."

Under its three-year restructuring scheme called "Transform 2015," the Air France part of the group cut 5,122 jobs back in 2012 and announced a further 2,800 would have to go. At the end of 2013, the group as a whole employed almost 97,000 people.

hg/ph (AFP, Reuters)

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