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EL AL: $30.4 million profit in third quarter

Company revenues reached their highest-ever level and totaled $607.3 million. Theoperating profit this quarter totaled $50.4 million
01.12.08 / 00:00
Haim Romano, El Al CEO
Haim Romano, El Al CEO

Company revenues reached their highest-ever level and totaled $607.3 million. Theoperating profit this quarter totaled $50.4 million
El Al reported last week a third-quarter net profit of $30.4 million, down 25.3% from $40.7 million in the corresponding period, a result President Haim Romano called "remarkably gratifying in light of the difficult business situation and the signs of international economic recession." Company revenues reached their highest-ever level since the company's establishment, and totaled $607.3 million, compared to $566.7 million in the parallel quarter last year, a growth of 7%.
Prof. Israel (Izzy) Borovich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of El Al, noted while presenting the results that: "During this quarter the Company continued to operate under the shadow of the international crisis besetting civil aviation. This is reflected in the high fuel prices and the ever-increasing competition from both scheduled and charter foreign airlines, that have increased service to and from Israel. In spite of the effect of the erosion of the dollar exchange rate, the company effectively faced the changes and challenges brought about by these factors. These results are proof of this."
Haim Romano, El Al President, said: "The company has record revenues during the third quarter, totaling $607.3 million. This is a growth of 7% compared to the parallel quarter last year. The major portion of increased revenues was from passenger revenues”.
He added that "El Al showed a drop in most expenditure items. Nevertheless, in the third quarter, the company continued to successfully meet the challenges of the world crisis that has beset civil aviation, the increase in fuel costs, and the effects of the exchange rates. "In spite of all this, and in spite of the increased competition, we faced the situation successfully, by optimizing our entire route network; by reducing costs; and by our informed pricing policy.
"In our efforts to reinforce the company's growth engines, we tripled ticket sales through the internet and the call center, all of which totaled $33.3 million. Our sales increased and we also continued with aircraft purchases.
"The results achieved in the quarter are remarkably gratifying, in the light of the difficult business situation, and the signs of the international economic recession. In these difficult times, our aim is to preserve stability, utilizing our advantages for change and adapting our operations to market demands. We continue to work on achieving increased efficiency in day-to-day operations, and on reducing costs. The company management's hard work with the workers' committee during this difficult period contributed to the positive results we achieved. Thanks to the steps taken, we are well prepared for the future”.
Third-quarter revenue increased 7% to $607.3 million while operating profit totaled $50.4 million, down 18% from $61.8 million in the year-ago quarter.
Theoperating profit this quarter totaled $50.4 million, compared to a profit of $61.8 million in the parallel quarter last year. The aircraft load factor for the quarter reached at 85.4% one of the highest in the world.
Romano also noted that the Israeli government has promised to "finance 80% of the security expenses of Israeli airline companies," a decision El Al expects to be implemented "immediately" that will help keep operating costs under control.