Royal Jordanian posts $36m nine-month profit

Airline bounces back after recording loss in 2008, helped by lower fuel costs.
Royal Jordanian posts $36m nine-month profit
PROFIT POST: Royal Jordanian posted a $36m profit in the nine months of 2009, compared to a loss in the same period in 2008.
By Suleiman al-Khalidi
Fri 30 Oct 2009 08:38 AM

Royal Jordanian (RJ) airline, helped by lower fuel costs, bounced back to net profit of 25.5 million dinars ($35.9 million) in the first nine months of 2009 compared with a loss of 3.8 million in the same period last year.

A fall in fuel costs of 50 percent and a reduction in operational costs by 20 percent outpaced a 16 percent decline in revenues to 449 million dinars from 532 million.

RJ President and CEO Hussein Dabbas said the drop in revenues was due to a 3 percent drop in passenger numbers and a 32 percent decline in cargo.

Chairman Nasser Lozi said the airline forecast "positive" 2009 results despite challenges to the global airline business anmd tougher regional competition that pressured ticket prices.

Jordan sold 71 percent of RJ to international and local investors in an initial public offering (IPO) at the end of 2007 that made RJ the first Arab state carrier to be privatised.

Foreign investors, including the Beirut-based investment firm controlled by the Mikati family which acquired a 19.5 percent shareholding, now own at least 40 percent of the carrier's total 84.3 million dinars capital.

The government retained a 29 percent stake. (Reuters)

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