SANTIAGO, Chile, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LAN Airlines S.A. (NYSE: LFL), one of Latin America's leading passenger and cargo airlines, announced today its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009. "LAN" or "the Company" makes reference to the consolidated entity, which includes passenger and cargo airlines in Latin America. All figures were prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are expressed in U.S. Dollars.
-- Despite the global crisis that affected the airline industry in 2009, LAN reported net income of US$231.1 million for full year 2009, proving the strength of the Company's business model and LAN's resiliency to external shocks. Net income declined 31.3% compared to full year 2008.
-- For the full year 2009 LAN's operating margin reached 11.9%, a decrease of 2.6 points compared to the 14.5% operating margin achieved in 2008. Operating income amounted to US$435.7 million in 2009, a 29.7% decrease compared to operating income of US$619.8 million in 2008. Operating income for 2009 includes a US$128.7 million loss related to fuel hedging.
-- LAN's fourth quarter 2009 results reflect a strong recovery in both cargo and passenger operations. During the period, LAN reported net income of US$109.8 million, a 17.6% increase compared to net income of US$93.3 million reported in the fourth quarter 2008.
-- Operating income reached US$190.3 million in the fourth quarter 2009, a 10.9% decrease compared to US$213.7 million in the fourth quarter 2008. Operating margin reached 17.8% compared to 19.2% in the same period of 2008.
-- Total revenues for the fourth quarter 2009 reached US$1,070.7 million compared to US$1,114.9 million in the fourth quarter 2008 due to a 1.6% decrease in passenger revenues and a 10.7% decrease in cargo revenues. The 4.0% decline in consolidated revenues was partially offset by a 2.3% decrease in operating expenses, driven mainly by lower fuel costs. Passenger and cargo revenues accounted for 71% and 26% of total revenues, respectively, during the fourth quarter 2009.
-- In December 2009, LAN ordered 30 new Airbus A320 family aircraft destined for the Company's regional and domestic passenger operations (including domestic operations of its affiliates), to be delivered between 2011 and 2016. In addition to this purchase, LAN's strategic fleet renewal plan involves the sale of five Airbus A318 aircraft in 2011. Continuing with the expansion and renewal of its fleet, during the fourth quarter 2009, LAN received two new Boeing 767-300 passenger aircraft.
-- During the quarter, LAN signed an agreement with Sabre, one of the global airline industry's major operational systems solutions providers, to upgrade and incorporate the most advanced technology in the Company's reservations and distribution system, itinerary optimization and operations planning. The implementation process for the new systems platforms includes an adjustment and migration period of two to three years.
LAN Airlines is one of the leading passenger and cargo airlines in Latin America. The company and its affiliates serve over 65 destinations around the world through an extensive network that offers full connectivity within Latin America, while also linking the region with North America, Europe and the South Pacific, as well as 63 additional international destinations through its various alliances. LAN Airlines and its affiliates have a leading position in their respective domestic markets of Chile and Peru as well as an important presence in the Argentinean domestic market and have begun operations in the domestic market of Ecuador.
Currently, LAN Airlines and its affiliates operate one of the most modern fleets in the world, with 83 passenger aircraft, and its cargo subsidiary, LAN CARGO and its respective cargo affiliates, have a fleet of 11 freighters. The company recently completed its short haul fleet renovation process by acquiring new aircraft from the Airbus A320 family, enabling LAN to improve its efficiency and to reduce significantly its CO2 emissions. The fleet renovation is part of the company's commitment to the protection of the environment.
LAN is one of the few Investment Grade airlines in the world (BBB). The company's world class quality standards enabled its membership in oneworld(TM), the global alliance that encompasses the best airlines in the world. For more information please visit www.lan.com or www.oneworldalliance.com
Note on Forward-Looking Statements
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SOURCE LAN Airlines S.A.