Transat AT increases Q4 profit despite lower ticket prices

MONTREAL -- Transat AT increased its profit in the important summer quarter as lower costs helped offset a decline in average ticket prices.

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The Montreal-based vacation company (TSX:TRZ.B) says its adjusted net income for the three months ended Oct. 31 was $54.8 million, up from $49.4 million a year earlier.

Transat's adjusted profit excludes the impact of fuel-hedging, restructuring and asset impairments. With those included, its net income for Transat's fiscal fourth quarter rose to $69.1 million from $30.6 million in the same period last year.

Revenue fell $5.5 million to $844.7 million, a decline of 0.6 per cent, as lower fuel costs triggered a decline in average selling prices.

Transat's North American business units increased their revenue by $17.1 million, largely because a new booking system transferred some sales to Canada that would previously have been from Europe.

Revenue from Transat's European business units fell by $22.6 million, in part because of the new booking system and also because of fewer bookings to North Africa and other Mediterranean locations and fewer tours to the United States.

"All in all, this was an excellent summer,"Transat president and CEO Jean-Marc Eustache said in a statement.

"Our efforts on all fronts, including costs, product, brand, marketing and yield management, have produced the results we expected."

Transat announced earlier that it's aiming to reduce operating costs by at least $100 million over three years. In 2015, it achieved $45 million of those savings. A further $30 million and $25 million are targeted for 2016 and 2017, respectively.


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