Air New Zealand says result strong despite drop in profit

AP News
Posted: Aug 23, 2017 1:46 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's national airline on Wednesday reported a 17 percent drop in profit from last year but said it has risen to the challenge of increased competition.

Air New Zealand announced an after-tax profit of 382 million New Zealand dollars ($276 million) for the year ending June, compared with NZ$463 million last year. Revenue was down 2 percent from last year to NZ$5.15 billion.

Chairman Tony Carter said it was a strong result. He said the board felt it appropriate to increase the dividend slightly due to the airline's strong financial position and improving trading environment. About 8,500 staff also got bonuses of up to NZ$1,700.

Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said the company faced an unprecedented increase in competition from some of the world's biggest airlines over the financial year but had met the challenge.

The carrier said it plans to continue growing its domestic network next year and sees some opportunity from tourism, both domestic and inbound. Internationally, the carrier said it plans to increase its presence in Japan as well as peak-season flights to the Pacific and North and South America.

The company said it aims to improve its profit in 2018.

The company's stock was up 0.3 percent Wednesday to finish trading at NZ$3.41. The stock has risen 86 percent over the past year.