Air France-KLM’s cargo unit returned to profitability a year ahead of target, booking $98.7 million in earnings in the year to March 31 compared to a loss of $623.5 million a year earlier.
Driving the $722 million turnaround was a 29.9 percent improvement in yields that boosted revenue 29.5 percent, to $4.5 billion.
Traffic grew a modest 2.5 percent on a 0.3 percent cut in freight capacity, lifting the load factor by 1.9 percentage points to 68.4 percent.
Cargo losses narrowed in the fiscal fourth quarter to $12.9 million from $90 million a year earlier as revenue jumped 14.1 percent to $1.1 billion, despite interruptions caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the deepening political crisis in North Africa and the Middle East.
Air France-KLM said the stronger-than-expected cargo performance helped the Franco-Dutch carrier to achieve full-year operating profit of $174.5 million against a $1.8 billion loss a year earlier.
Air France-KLM and its Amsterdam-based Martinair unit own 22 freighters, 18 of which are currently operational.
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