Release Date: 23 April 2009
Release ID: 1142
2008 was a very difficult year for the airfreight industry that had to face exploding oil prices coupled with a worldwide downturn in traffic and volumes. The market for airfreight declined by 4% on an annual basis with a dramatic 17% drop in December alone.
Despite the extreme volatility of key market parameters, Cargolux strengthened its overall market position and increased revenues (+18%) to a record level of close to US$ 2 billion. The company ended the year with an operational profit of US$ 55 million.
Tonnage carried grew slightly by +0.1% to 703,601 tons, freight tonne kilometres decreased by 2.3% to 5.4 million, and load factors reached 70.6%. Daily aircraft utilization was 15:37 block hours, slightly higher than the 2007 average.
Based on IATA statistics and measured in international freight tonne kilometers, Cargolux’s global market share was about 4%, slightly higher than 2007.
Fuel costs reached record levels, increasing by 49% to US$ 934 million and representing over 47% of total costs.
The pre-tax profit was burdened by a mark down of the company’s interest rate and fuel derivative portfolio and a provision following a settlement agreement reached with the US DoJ. Under a plea agreement dated 2 April 2009, the company agrees to pay to the DoJ a fine of US$ 119 million over several years. Despite this multi-year payment schedule, the complete fine had to be charged against the 2008 accounts. The net (after-tax) loss for the year is US$ 61 million following tax adjustments required to be made pursuant to the Company’s accounting rules.
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