View Full Version : Air NZ doubles profit target but still coy about Qantas

29th Oct 2002, 17:55
Wed "Sydney Morning Herald" 30/10/02

Air NZ doubles profit target but still coy about Qantas
By Mark Todd
October 30 2002

Air NZ...wants to keep control.

Air New Zealand wasn't able to deliver a $500 million alliance with Qantas at the airline's annual meeting yesterday but, in its stead, offered up a large profit upgrade.

Deputy chairman Roger France told shareholders at the meeting in Auckland that the first quarter performance was "encouraging" and the company was moved to double its target for 2002-03 profit before unusual items and tax to about $NZ200 million ($175 million), up from the $NZ100 million it claimed to have in sight in late August.

Australian listed shares in the carrier were unchanged at 46.5c as many analysts were already working on the assumption that the old guidance was substantially in arrears of Air New Zealand's actual financial position. Qantas eased 8c to $3.65 as some investors showed their disappointment.

"Negotiations with Qantas are progressing satisfactorily," Mr France said. "However, the issues are complex."

He said the Kiwi airline wouldn't compromise on its commitment to maintain New Zealand majority ownership and control as well as the capacity to determine its own direction strategically. It is understood Qantas and Air New Zealand are yet to agree on price and the finer details of their Tasman joint services pact.

There is speculation the airlines are considering making concessions to anti-monopoly regulators, including possibly the sale of Air NZ's budget subsidiary Freedom to preserve competition in the region.

Qantas wants to take up to a 25 per cent stake in Air NZ for as much as $520 million. A deal is expected in the next month.

Mr France said Air New Zealand's recovery program, which involves trimming routes and cutting costs, produced first quarter profit before unusual items and tax of $NZ30.4 million, compared to a $NZ51.8 million loss a year ago.

Unaudited net profit for the July to September period was $NZ17 million, putting the airline ahead of time in its December five-year financial plan.

Air New Zealand was almost driven to the wall by the collapse of its subsidiary Ansett.

29th Oct 2002, 20:25
Poor old Freedom, can they survive away from ANZ? Who would be the likely buyers?:(

29th Oct 2002, 21:34
Poor old Freedom, can they survive away from ANZ?

Freedom was from day one a profitable operation much to the initial surprise of Air NZ. As from yesterday there trans Tasman route structure has expanded yet again taking over Air NZ's AKL-BNE service minus a B762 limited service to appease its Star alliance partners interconnect

For Air NZ to have to cut them lose would be a loss to the carrier.