Alitalia profit soars

Italian airline Alitalia said Thursday its third quarter profit soared, reflecting a rise in passenger numbers, and predicted that it could surpass its financial target this year.

The group, which was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008, reported net earnings of 39 million euros (54 million dollars) compared with one million in the third quarter of 2009.

Operating earnings rose to 56 million euros from 15 million while sales jumped 15 percent to 971 million.

Passenger numbers were up 11 percent to 7.1 million people.

Alitalia said its net loss in the first nine months of the year narrowed to 125 million euros from 323 million in the same period of 2009.

The carrier said its results for the full year 2010 could be better than its previous target of halving its net loss. The company foresees returning to operational equilibrium in 2011.
Source: AFP

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