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Air France-KLM post 736 million euro profit for first quarter

Air France-KLM said Tuesday it posted a profit of 736 million euros for the first quarter, forecasting a break-even for the current year to March 2011 and reversing its downward fortune from a year earlier.


AFP - Air France-KLM said Tuesday it returned to profit in its first quarter and forecast a break-even operating performance for its current year to March 2011, excluding the impact of April flight chaos caused by the Iceland volcano dust cloud.

The airline reported a net profit of 736 million euros (950 million dollars) for the three months to June, more than reversing a year-earlier loss of 426 million euros when the global slump savaged the airline industry.

Sales rose 10.7 percent to 5.72 billion euros, it said, adding that the disruption of flights in April masked a pick-up in passenger numbers, which rose more than four percent in May and June alone but were down 2.3 percent for the quarter as a whole.

Air France-KLM said it had an operating loss of 132 million euros in the three months, an improvement over the year-earlier shortfall of 496 million euros.

If the April loss of flights were excluded, the company made an operating profit of 28 million euros in the period, it added.

For its current year, the airline said it expected to break-even at the operating level, excluding the impact of the April disruption.

In the year to March 2010, the company sustained an operating loss of 1.28 billion euros.

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