Turkish Airlines profit almost triples, plans $3 bln investment

Turkish Airlines profit almost triples, plans $3 bln investment

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Turkish Airlines profit almost triples, plans $3 bln investment Turkish Airlines posted a 2014 net profit that almost tripled yesterday and unveiled plans to invest more than $3 billion mostly on its fleet, partly financed by a bond issue in the coming months.

Net profit rose to 1.82 billion Turkish Liras ($739 million) from 683 million liras, in line with a Reuters poll forecast of 1.81 billion.

Sales rose 29 percent to 24.1 billion.

The airline said it and its subsidiaries planned around $3.74 billion in new investments this year, most of it on increasing its 261 fleet of aircraft.

The national carrier plans to close this year with around 300 airplanes.

The company’s destinations for flights have increased to 264 from 243 over the past year, including 45 domestic and 219 international destinations in 108 countries, the company said in a written statement on Feb. 25.      

Turkish Airlines carried nearly 55 million passengers in 2014, a 13.3 percent increase in passenger numbers year-on-year. The number of passengers on domestic routes was up 13.2 percent in 2014 from the previous year and international arrivals increased by 13.3 percent, the company added in its statement.

Company in talks with Malaysia Airlines

Meanwhile, Chairman Hamdi Topçu told a news conference that Turkish Airlines will start to harvest the positive effects of decreasing oil prices by summer 2015.

Topçu noted that the company was in the final stages of a planned bond issue to diversify its sources of aircraft financing, adding that the issue was expected to be completed in the first half of the year.

The bond would be at least $500 million and could reach a volume of $2-3 billion with a maturity of up to 14 years, Chief Financial Officer Coşkun Kılıç said, adding that it would be used to finance existing aircraft as well as new planes.

Topçu also revealed that Turkish Airlines was in the early stage of talks with Malaysia Airlines over leasing aircraft.

A senior executive at the airline said in January that it was considering expanding its fleet and was studying a list of Boeing and Airbus models including the double-decker A380.

On Feb. 25, Topbaş said the carrier would need larger Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380 aircraft in the future but no management decision had yet been taken.