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Vueling triples its net profit in 2012

Helena Tzioti - 01 March 2013, 11:20

Vueling achieves a net profit of 28.3 million euros in 2012, 173% up on 2011.

Vueling made a net profit of 28.3 million euros in 2012, an improvement of 173% on 2011. The operating profit (EBIT) in 2012 totalled 33.2 million euros, a rise of 192% on 2011.

The company increased the number of passengers carried by 20.1% compared with the previous year, to 14.8 million passengers in 2012. Furthermore, Vueling improved the load factor of its flights to 77.7%, 2.1 percentage points higher than in 2011. This increase in traffic was partly the result of the increase in connecting passengers at Barcelona El Prat airport, which doubled compared with the previous year, to a total of 1.6 million passengers in 2012.

Vueling’s total revenue rose by 27.7% to 1,103 million euros. This rise in revenue was the result both of the improvement in unit revenue and the increase in passenger traffic (+20.1%). Revenue per passenger rose by 5.9% on 2011, to 74.2 euros.

With regard to costs, Vueling cut its ex-fuel unit cost by 1% in 2012. The unit cost per available seat kilometre (ASK) excluding fuel stood at 4.14 euro cents. Fuel costs rose by 34.1% on 2011 as a result of the greater volume of activity (+23.1% of ASK) and the greater unit fuel cost per available seat kilometre (ASK). The unit fuel cost per ASK rose by 7.5% on 2011 as a result of the depreciation of the euro against the dollar (-8%). This increase in the unit cost of fuel led to the total unit cost per available seat kilometre (ASK) rising by 1.5%.

Vueling continues to strengthen its financial structure and increased its net cash balance to 339.3 million euros at 31 December 2012.

Business review
In 2012, Vueling achieved its growth targets, carrying a total of 14.8 million passengers. This represents a 20.1% increase in passenger traffic on 2011. This growth was the result both of an increase in international traffic (+1.6 million passengers) and in domestic traffic (+0.8 million passengers). The significant increase in international passengers meant that they accounted for 50% of the total number of passengers carried in 2012.

The growth in connecting passengers also contributed to this increase in traffic figures. The number of connecting passengers in 2012 stood at 1.6 million, 2.5 times higher than in 2011.

In 2012, Vueling continued improving and innovating in its products and services aimed at business passengers. The company has introduced the new Excellence fair, which includes services aimed at passengers who travel for business. It has also renovated the company's corporate image so as to improve its positioning. Furthermore, it has implemented a new line of revenue through licensing agreements of the Vueling brand.

Vueling offered high levels of service and punctuality in 2012. The level of punctuality in the months between January and December reached a new record of 88%, 2.8 percentage points higher than in 2011.

Vueling successfully implemented its cost savings programme for 2012. The company achieved total savings of 21.5 million euros, 47% up on the initial target of 14.6 million euros.

Outlook for 2013
In 2013, Vueling plans to increase its capacity in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) by between 10% and 15%, with greater emphasis on international markets. The company plans to maintain its ex-fuel unit costs per ASK in 2013 at similar levels to those in 2012. The significant international growth planned for 2013 involves a clear commitment towards Vueling becoming an important Europe-wide operator.

With regard to opportunities, Vueling will continue taking advantage of its strengthened leadership in Barcelona so as to reinforce its competitive position. In addition, the consolidation process in the European airline industry may facilitate new market opportunities. In 2013 Vueling will also consolidate its low-cost high-service business model.

On the risk side, the weak macroeconomic environment and sluggish demand in southern Europe may have negative effects. Other risks include an increase in airport fees and high fuel prices.

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