("fastjet" or the “Company”)
12th January 2015
Passenger Statistics and Operating update.
fastjet achieves first profitable trading month.
December 2014 Profit
fastjet Tanzania, the group’s principal operating company, posted its first profitable trading month at an Earnings before Interest and Tax (‘EBIT’) level in December as it saw strong demand for its services during the very busy holiday season and benefited from low fuel prices. Yield per passenger rose 20% compared to December 2013 with total revenue for the month up 106 per cent year on year. The contribution generated by the Tanzanian operation was sufficient to create an underlying operating profit for the month at the fastjet Plc group level.
December 2014 Passenger Statistics
fastjet operations in Tanzania carried a total of 65,653 passengers, a 75 percent increase compared to the same month last year, and achieved a load factor of 76 percent, 2 percentage points up on last year.
On Time Performance remained excellent at 89 percent.
Although the first quarter is traditionally a relatively low demand flying period, trading in the first quarter is expected to be much improved on last year as the excellent growth trends in both passenger numbers and yields seen in 2014 are anticipated to continue and as the Company benefits from lower fuel costs. The number of flights operating has been reduced to match capacity to expected demand and reduce costs.
The fuel price in January will provide a further 13 percent reduction on December prices. The Company expects further reductions in February and March as the recent falls in the price of crude oil continue to flow through to African aviation fuel supplies. As stated last month, fastjet does not currently pre-purchase or ‘hedge’ its future fuel price. The Company pays current market rates for its fuel and is therefore realising substantial benefits from the reduction in the cost of crude oil.
Although fastjet operates fuel-efficient modern Airbus 319 aircraft, fuel represents a very significant percentage of its direct operating costs. As such, the fall in the price of oil delivers a large direct cash benefit to the airline.
fastjet Tanzania is also celebrating the major milestone of flying one million passengers across the African continent.
This milestone represents another significant achievement for the low-cost airline as it is embraced into the hearts and minds of travellers in Tanzania and further afield across East and Southern Africa.
Commenting on December trading, Ed Winter, Interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of fastjet plc, said:
“The announcement of our first profitable trading month is a great achievement and a huge milestone on the road to becoming the first pan-African low-cost airline. We have already proven that the low-cost model works to stimulate traffic and we have now shown that it can create a profitable business. The Tanzanian fleet of three aircraft is now producing more than double the monthly revenue compared to a year ago. This higher utilisation, combined with higher per passenger revenues and lower fuel prices, has been transformational for the business.
Month ending December 2014 December 2013 Change
Passengers Note 1 65,653 37,465 75%
Load Factor Note 2 76% 74% +2pp
Rolling 12 months ending December 2014 December2013 Change
PassengersNote3 597,219 365,508 63%
1. “Passengers” are sold seats flown, excluding infants. fastjet bookings are generally non-refundable.
2. “Load Factor” is the number of ‘passengers” as a percentage of the number of available seats flown.
3. “on time” – arrival earlier than or within 15 minutes of schedule
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Cian Mac Eochaidh
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About fastjet plc
fastjet plc is the holding company of the low cost airline fastjet which commenced flights under the fastjet brand in Tanzania in November 2012. The airline introduced Airbus A319s into its fleet. By adhering to international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability; fastjet has brought a new flying experience to the African market at unprecedented low prices. fastjet is implementing the low-cost model across Africa and its long-term strategy is to become the continent's first low-cost, pan-African airline. fastjet plc is also the holding company of Fly540 Ghana and Angola where operations are currently suspended pending restructuring.
The results of a recent customer satisfaction survey showed that 100% of customers were likely to recommend fastjet to a friend. In developing its strong brand and identity, fastjet has won and been nominated for a number of awards, including winning three Transform awards for the rebrand and launch of fastjet and the award for "Brand Strategy of the Year" at the recent Drum Marketing Awards in London.
fastjet plc is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market.
For more information see www.fastjet.com
Posted on 12th January 2015