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Jazeera Airways earns KD 16.7m BoD recommends cash dividends of 15 fils/share

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: In a webcast attended by local and international analysts, Jazeera Airways Group announced a net profit of KD 16.7 million for the year 2013, beating once again previous years’ record earnings for three years in-a-row despite ongoing regional political unrest and fuel price volatility. Jazeera Airways Chairman Marwan Boodai said, “The year 2013 was an eventful year. In addition to sustaining good results for three years in a row, we were able to secure our funding for three aircraft, essentially closing our lending requirements for two years, we were able to reduce the Group’s debt to equity ratio from 1.7 in 2012 to 1.4 in 2013, and to close the year with the best performance in the Group’s history.”

Earlier, the company’s Board recommended cash dividend to shareholders of 15 fils per share, which will be reviewed in the AGM that is due to be held in the next weeks.
FY 2013 Financial Highlights*:
* Operating revenue: KD 65.6 million, up 4.7% from FY2012’s KD 62.6 million
* Operating profit: KD 20.6 million, up 11.4% from FY2012’s KD 18.5 million
* Net profit: KD 16.7 million, up 19.6% from FY2012’s KD 13.9 million
* Average yield: up 5.1% from FY2012

Q4 2013 Financial Highlights*:
* Operating revenue: KD 14.8 million, up 5.9% from Q4’12’s KD 13.9 million
* Operating profit: KD 3.4 million, up 3.6% from Q4’12’s KD 3.3 million
* Net profit: KD 2.6 million, up 4% from Q4’12’s KD 2.5 million

Balance Sheet Highlights*:
* Hard assets of KD 158 million
* Maintained cash and deposits above the KD 40 million level
* Equity improved by KD 17 million
* Debt to equity ratio down to 1.4 from 1.7 in 2012
*Percentages shown are calculated based on the absolute results, not on the displayed rounded figures.
Established in 2005, Jazeera Airways Group is a Kuwait Stock Exchange-listed company.  The company has 14 fully-owned Airbus A320s in operation, distributed between its airline business, Jazeera Airways (eight aircraft), and its fully-owned leasing business, Sahaab Aircraft Leasing (six aircraft).  Sahaab has assets placed with Virgin America, SriLankan Airlines, Nasair and Jazeera Airways.

Key 2013 Developments:
Jazeera Airways Group secured funding for the three remaining aircraft on an order of 15 A320s. The structured loan was led by Kuwait’s NBK and DVB Bank SE. As a result of the loan, the company has secured its financial commitments for the next two years.
Jazeera Airways Group received two brand new Airbus A320 from the manufacturer. To date, Jazeera Airways Group has taken delivery of 14 Airbus A320s since 2005, as part of an order for 15 aircraft of the same type. The remaining aircraft of the order is scheduled to be delivered in May of 2014.

Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) inducted Jazeera Airways into the ‘Kuwait 15 index KSX15’ - an index of the 15 top performers on the KSE. The KSX15 is defined by the KSE as their “flagship index ... designed to be a bellwether indicator of the Kuwaiti economy and to track the performance of the Kuwait stock market”. Jazeera Airways launched two weekly flights to Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. The results reflect the ongoing success of the Group’s Strategic Master Plan (STAMP). STAMP is a business plan for the years 2012 to 2014.

2014 Outlook
Following the last three record-breaking years, the Group is well-positioned for another growth year in line with the Strategic Master Plan (STAMP), which is set to conclude by the end of 2014.  During the course of the year, Jazeera Airways Group is planning to place an aircraft order as part of a phased fleet modernization program. Boodai said, “Our business is based on operating new and modern aircraft at all times and we look forward to making an announcement about our fleet modernization program, including the selected manufacturer, in the next six to eight months.” The airline operates a two-class cabin comprising of a Business Class and an Economy Class. Jazeera Airways’ Business Class offering includes a separate cabin for passengers, exclusive check-in counters, business lounge access at airports, in-flight ‡ la carte menu, and 60 kilograms in free baggage allowance.

The airline’s Economy Class offers travelers free baggage allowance of 40 kilograms, free on-board meals with a changing menu every month, and year-round value fares. Jazeera Airways is based in Kuwait and operates a network comprising high-demand business, leisure, family, and weekend destinations such as Dubai, Bahrain, Beirut, Alexandria, Amman, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, Mashhad, Sohag, Jeddah, Riyadh, Cairo and Al Najaf. Jazeera Airways is an IATA-member airline and operates one of the youngest Airbus A320 fleets in the Middle East.

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