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UAE’s Air Arabia Q2 profit edges up 2 pct, beats estimates

UAE’s Air Arabia Q2 profit edges up 2 pct, beats estimates

Co posts Q2 net profit of 51 mln dirhams, Q2 revenues at 592 million dirhams

August 4, 2011 8:54 by

UAE budget carrier Air Arabia posted a 2 percent rise in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, beating analyst estimates, as passengers sought low-cost travel amid soaring ticket prices.
Air Arabia said it earned net profit of 51 million dirhams ($13.9 million) in the quarter ended June 30, compared to 50 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
Three analysts forecast average profit of 46.89 million dirhams in a Reuters survey.
Second quarter revenue rose 22 percent to 592 million dirhams from 485 million dirhams a year ago.
Regional and international carriers, hit by unrest in the Middle East and soaring fuel prices, have been forced to increase ticket prices to offset costs.
Air Arabia said its passenger traffic in the second quarter grew by 5 percent to 1.16 million.
“We remain confident about the outlook of low cost travel in the region amidst market ambiguity, continuous challenging conditions and (a) rise trend in fuel costs,” Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Thani, the airline’s chairman, said in a statement.
The airline, which competes with regional low cost carriers such as flydubai and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways , said last month that it has delayed plans to establish a fourth hub in Jordan due to regional unrest and soaring fuel prices.
Air Arabia’s other hubs are in Morocco, Egypt and its Sharjah base in the UAE.
The airline’s shares closed down 0.59 percent on the Dubai index on Wednesday. The results were issued after markets closed.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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