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Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways swings to Q4 profit; beats f’cast

Chairman says optimistic about 2011.

February 22, 2011 4:04 by

Kuwait’s low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways  posted a second straight-quarter profit after posting losses in the first half of 2010, marginally beating analysts forecasts.

Net profit in the final three quarters of 2010 came in at 2 million dinars ($7.15 million), compared with a loss of 6.73 million dinars during the same period in 2009, Jazeera said in a statement, adding that it was the airline’s best second half results since 2008.

Three analysts polled by Reuters expected the carrier to post an average profit of 1.9 million dinars.

The airline said it returned to profits partly due to asset staff reductions and other cost cutting measures. It did not give more details on job reductions.

“Looking forward we are optimistic about 2011 and working hard on sustaining profitability for the year,” Chairman Marwan Boodai was quoted as saying in the statement.

The airline reported a net loss of 2.8 million dinars for the full-year of 2010, compared with a loss of 8.2 million dinars in 2009.

In August last year, the airline cancelled a premium on a planned rights issue and said it expected support from its shareholders and lenders to provide liquidity.

The carrier, which aims to fly 82 routes in the Middle East within the next five years, competes with United Arab Emirates-based Air Arabia  and Dubai-based low cost carrier flydubai.

Jazeera’s shares ended flat on Tuesday after the market closed.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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