Fuel costs and franc impact on Swiss profits

Swiss International Air Lines has reported a 17 per cent drop in operating profit in 2011 due to a slump in business and rising fuel costs.

This content was published on March 15, 2012 - 10:50 and agencies

Operating profit was SFr306 million ($330 million), the Lufthansa-run company reported on Thursday. The drop was “substantial” compared with 2010, and the result of a 87 per cent year-on-year fall in the fourth-quarter operating profit.

CEO Harry Hohmeister said he saw little prospect of any improvement at present, with “these difficulties being exacerbated by very high oil prices and the strength of the Swiss franc”.

He said fuel prices could only be offset to a certain extent by raising Swiss’ own fuel surcharges. The company will also be reviewing fare increases. 

Swiss has brought in short-term measures to cope with the situation, including a hiring freeze in some areas and cutting down on the costs of outside consultants. It expects these efforts to improve operating results by SFr100 million.  

The company transported 15,317,275 passengers in 2011, an 11 per cent increase on 2010.

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