LATAM returns to profit despite cargo continuing to struggle

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LATAM Airlines
LATAM Airlines

LATAM Airlines Group has returned to profit in 2016 despite cargo revenue and volumes continuing to struggle.

It made a net profit of $69.2 million in 2016, its first profit since 2011, compared to a loss of $219.2 million in 2015, despite revenue falling by 5.9 per cent to $9.7 billion.

Cargo revenue was down 16.5 per cent to $1.1 billion for the year, with tonnage falling 6.4 per cent to 944,000 tonnes.

Revenue tonne kilometres declined 8.7 per cent to 3.4 billion and capacity in available tonne kilometres were down 5.3 per cent pushing load factors down 1.9 percentage points to 51.7 per cent.

LATAM says: “Exports to North America were mainly impacted by lower production in the salmon industry as well as a decrease of certain products as flowers and Asparagus, partially offset by an improvement in imports from North America and Europe to Brazil, as a result of the appreciation of the Brazilian Real.”

LATAM says it is adjusting freighter capacity and maximising belly-hold utilisation of its passenger fleet, reducing freighter operations by 13.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, helping bring the load factor up 1.7 percentage points to 57 per cent during the period.