Kenya Airways is recovering due to narrow pretax losses in Q1 – CEO

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United Bank for Africa

Kenya Airways says it is showing signs of recovery after it came close to collapse last year due a narrow pretax loss of 3.99 billion Kenyan shillings (40 million dollars) for the first half of 2018.

Chief Executive Sebastian Mikosz told a news conference on Wednesday in Nairobi that the pretax losses showed improvement from a pretax loss of 5.77 billion shillings during the same period in 2017.

“Our loss before tax is down by 30 per cent. We keep slowly but steadily improving,” Mikosz told reporters.

The airline’s near collapse last year, led to a 2 billion dollar financial restructuring in November that included a government bailout which shrank Air France KLM’s stake.

The carrier, which is now 7.8 per cent owned by Air France KLM, said its revenues rose 3 per cent to 52.19 billion shillings, but total operating costs rose by 4 per cent to 53.22 billion shillings due to rising global fuel prices.

The airline said in June that it would resume aviation fuel hedging in the second half of this year after price volatility drove up its costs.

Passenger numbers increased 7 per cent in the first half to 2.3 million, it said.

The airline’s better performance this year was helped by an improving business climate in Kenya.

The run up to tightly contested elections in August last year had created political uncertainty and the risk of instability.

Kenya Airways has changed its financial reporting period to match the calendar year. Previously its financial year was to the end of March.

However, comparisons given in its first-half results were with January-June 2017.