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Air Canada Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2012 Results



    --  Net income of $131 million in 2012 on a GAAP basis; Adjusted
        net income of $53 million in 2012
    --  Fourth Quarter EBITDAR of $284 million, an increase of $122
        million
    --  Annual EBITDAR of $1.451 billion, including the impact of
        benefit plan amendments
    --  Cash and short-term investments of $2.026 billion at December
        31, 2012

MONTREAL, Feb. 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today reported full year and 
fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and 
impairment, and aircraft rent ("EBITDAR") of $1.451 billion (or $1.327 billion 
before the impact of benefit plan amendments) compared to EBITDAR of $1.242 
billion in 2011.  Including the favourable impact of benefit plan amendments, 
EBITDAR of $1.451 billion increased $209 million year-over-year (or $85 
million before the impact of benefit plan amendments).  On a GAAP basis, in 
2012, net income was $131 million or $0.45 per diluted share compared to a net 
loss of $249 million or $0.92 per diluted share in 2011.  On an adjusted 
basis, net income was $53 million or $0.19 per diluted share compared to a net 
loss of $122 million or $0.44 per diluted share in 2011.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, Air Canada reported EBITDAR of $284 million 
compared to EBITDAR of $162 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, an 
improvement of $122 million.  On a GAAP basis, in the fourth quarter of 2012, 
Air Canada reported net income of $8 million or $0.03 per diluted share 
compared to a net loss of $60 million or $0.22 per diluted share in the fourth 
quarter of 2011.  Air Canada reported an adjusted net loss of $6 million or 
$0.02 per diluted share compared to an adjusted net loss of $167 million or 
$0.60 per diluted share in the same quarter in 2011.

"I am extremely pleased to report a strong fourth quarter and a full year net 
profit for Air Canada of $131 million in 2012," said Calin Rovinescu, 
President and Chief Executive Officer. "These results reflect the success of 
Air Canada's ongoing transformation aligned with strict cost control and 
disciplined capacity management.  In particular, the strong revenue 
performance of our international network was led by significant improvements, 
not only in the Pacific region but also on the Atlantic where we overcame 
challenges faced by the industry earlier in the year. Our focus remains firmly 
fixed on further cost reduction and increased revenue generation, including 
improved yields, positioning us well for the future.

"Air Canada marked its 75th anniversary in 2012 by proving it is dynamic and 
adaptable to an ever-changing industry. In pursuing our global strategy we 
will continue to build our international network with expanding services to 
Asia and new routes and destinations such as Istanbul, Venice and Edinburgh. 
Our commitment to this priority is underscored by our ongoing fleet 
modernization with the addition of five new Boeing 777s. The further 
enhancement of our range of international product and service offerings, 
including the introduction of a Premium Economy product and launch of our 
leisure carrier Air Canada rouge(TM), gives us the tools to more effectively 
compete in a wider range of international markets. I thank our 27,000 
employees for taking care of our customers as recognized by our many awards 
and accolades throughout the year, culminating in Air Canada recently 
receiving a Four-Star rating in the Skytrax Airline Star Ranking, the only 
international network carrier in North America to earn this distinction."

Full Year Income Statement Highlights

In 2012, system passenger revenues were $10.737 billion, an increase of $529 
million or 5.2 per cent, on a 2.6 per cent growth in traffic and a 1.8 per 
cent improvement in yield. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) 
increased 3.2 per cent from 2011 due to the yield growth and a 1.1 percentage 
point improvement in passenger load factor.

Adjusted CASM increased 1.0 per cent from 2011, in line with the 0.75 per cent 
to 1.25 per cent full year increase projected in Air Canada's news release 
dated November 8, 2012.

In 2012, operating expenses increased $250 million from 2011, reflecting 
increases in fuel expense, wages, salaries and benefits expense, capacity 
purchase costs and other expenses. Partly offsetting these increases was an 
operating expense reduction of $124 million related to changes to the terms of 
the ACPA collective agreement pertaining to retirement age and a decrease in 
depreciation, amortization and impairment expense.

In 2012, operating income of $437 million increased $258 million from 2011.

Fourth Quarter Income Statement Highlights

In the fourth quarter of 2012, system passenger revenues increased $139 
million or 5.8 per cent, on a 4.2 per cent growth in traffic and a 1.2 per 
cent improvement in yield. RASM increased 4.2 per cent from the fourth 
quarter of 2011 due to a 2.3 percentage point improvement in passenger load 
factor and to the yield growth.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, operating expenses decreased $2 million from 
the fourth quarter of 2011, mainly due to lower aircraft maintenance expense 
and a decrease in ownership costs (comprised of depreciation, amortization and 
impairment and aircraft rent). Offsetting these decreases were increases in 
wages, salaries and benefits expense, fuel expense, capacity purchase costs, 
food, beverage and supplies expense and other expenses.

Adjusted CASM decreased 2.0 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2011, in line 
with the 2.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent fourth quarter decrease projected in Air 
Canada's news release dated November 8, 2012.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, operating income of $46 million improved $144 
million from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Liquidity Highlights

At December 31, 2012, cash and short-term investments amounted to $2,026 
million, or 17 per cent of 2012 annual operating revenues.

At December 31, 2012, adjusted net debt of $4,281 million decreased $295 
million from December 31, 2011, reflecting net debt repayments made during 
2012.

Appointment to the Board of Directors

The Corporation also announced the appointment of Thomas Birks to the Air 
Canada Board of Directors. The appointment is effective immediately. 
Currently, he is the President of Birinco Inc., a merchant bank with 
investment portfolios ranging from private equity to passive investments.  He 
previously served as President of Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. and as Chair of 
the board of directors of Viterra Inc.  Mr. Birks has extensive global 
experience having worked in various countries including Australia, Japan and 
South Africa.

In addition, Mr. Birks has served as Chair and board member of numerous 
corporations, education institutions, hospitals and foundations.

Current Outlook

In the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects its system ASM capacity, as 
measured by available seat miles (ASMs), to decrease in the range of 0 to 1.5 
per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2012. The comparative decrease 
in capacity in the first quarter of 2013 versus the first quarter of 2012 is 
due, in large part, to the first quarter of 2012 having had an additional leap 
year day.

Air Canada continues to expect full year 2013 system capacity to increase in 
the range of 1.5 to 3.0 per cent when compared to the full year 2012.  Air 
Canada expects its full year 2013 domestic capacity to increase in the range 
of 0 to 1.5 per cent from the full year 2012.

As described in Air Canada's 2012 consolidated financial statements, Air 
Canada will be required to adopt certain revised and new accounting standards 
beginning on January 1, 2013, with retroactive restatement of 2012 
comparative figures. These revised standards include changes to the accounting 
for pensions and other employee benefits and changes to the accounting for 
consolidation.

Air Canada continues to evaluate the impact of these standards on its 
consolidated financial statements however, for the purposes of providing 
adjusted CASM guidance for 2013, Air Canada has assumed that these standards 
will result in the following restatements to 2012 operating expenses:
                                                       

Canadian dollars in millions                          Full Year 2012

Decrease to employee benefits expense                            (2)

Decrease to depreciation, amortization and impairment            (9)

Net operating expense decrease due to impact of 2012            (11)
restatements

The adjusted CASM guidance for the first quarter and full year 2013 are 
compared to the first quarter and full year 2012, respectively, assuming the 
adjustments to operating expense noted above.

For the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to increase by 
3 to 4 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2012. For the full year 
2013, Air Canada expects adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 0 to 1.0 
per cent from the full year 2012.

Air Canada's above-mentioned outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.5 
to 2.0 per cent for 2013. In addition, Air Canada expects that the Canadian 
dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.00 per U.S. dollar in the first quarter 
and the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average 88 cents 
per litre in the first quarter of 2013 and 89 cents per litre for the full 
year 2013.

The following table summarizes Air Canada's above-mentioned outlook for the 
first quarter of 2013 and for the full year 2013 and related major assumptions:
                                                                      
                           First Quarter 2013  
                                      versus    Full Year 2013 versus
                           First Quarter 2012           Full Year 2012

Current Outlook                                                       

Available seat miles                           
(System)                  Decrease 0% to 1.5%    Increase 1.5% to 3.0%

Available seat miles                           
(Canada)                                  n/a      Increase 0% to 1.5%

Adjusted CASM ((1))         Increase 3% to 4%      Decrease 0% to 1.0%
                                                                      
                                                                      
                         Major Assumptions -      Major Assumptions -
                           First Quarter 2013           Full Year 2013

Major Assumptions                                                     

Canadian dollar per                            
U.S. dollar                              1.00                     1.00

Jet fuel price - CAD                           
cents per litre (net of
fuel hedging)                        88 cents                 89 cents
                              2013 annualized  
                                     Canadian

GDP growth of 1.5% to Canadian GDP Canadian economy 2.0% growth of 1.5% to 2.0%

For the full year 2013, Air Canada also projects the following:


    --  Depreciation, amortization and impairment expense to decrease
        by approximately $130 million from the full year 2012.
    --  Employee benefits expense to increase by approximately $70
        million from the full year 2012. Refer to section 14 of Air
        Canada's 2012 MD&A for important disclosures on changes to
        accounting for employee benefits effective January 1, 2013.
    --  Aircraft maintenance expense to increase by up to 5 per cent
        from the full year 2012, which includes the impact of the
        favourable maintenance return provision adjustment of $32
        million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The following table summarizes the above-mentioned projections for the full 
year 2013:
                                  
                                                 Full Year 2013 versus
                                                         Full Year 2012

Depreciation, amortization and   Decrease by approximately $130 million
impairment expense

Employee benefits expense         Increase by approximately $70 million

Aircraft maintenance expense                          Increase up to 5%

The outlook provided constitutes forward-looking statements within the meaning 
of applicable securities laws and is based on a number of additional 
assumptions and subject to a number of risks.  Please see section below 
entitled "Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information."

(1) Non-GAAP Measures

Below is a description of certain non-GAAP measures used by Air Canada to 
provide additional information on its financial and operating performance.  
Such measures are not recognized measures for financial statement presentation 
under Canadian GAAP and do not have standardized meanings and may not be 
comparable to similar measures presented by other public companies.  Readers 
should refer to Air Canada's 2012 MD&A for a reconciliation of non-GAAP 
financial measures.
    --  Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per
        diluted share are used by Air Canada to assess share
        performance without the effects of foreign exchange, net
        financing income (expense) on employee benefits, mark-to-market
        adjustments on derivatives and other financial instruments
        recorded at fair value and unusual items.
    --  EBITDAR is commonly used in the airline industry and is used by
        Air Canada to assess earnings before interest, taxes,
        depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent,
        as these costs can vary significantly among airlines due to
        differences in the way airlines finance their aircraft and
        other assets.
    --  Adjusted CASM is used by Air Canada to assess the operating
        performance of its ongoing airline business without the effects
        of fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada
        Vacations and unusual items as such expenses may distort the
        analysis of certain business trends and render comparative
        analyses to other airlines less meaningful.
    --  Free cash flow is used by Air Canada as an indicator of the
        financial strength and performance of its business because it
        shows how much cash is available for such purposes as repaying
        debt, meeting ongoing financial obligations and reinvesting in
        Air Canada.
    --  Adjusted net debt is a key component of the capital managed by
        Air Canada and provides a measure of the airline's net
        indebtedness.

Air Canada's 2012 Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes and its 
2012 Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) are available on Air Canada's 
website at aircanada.com, and will be filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

For further information on Air Canada's public disclosure file, including Air 
Canada's Annual Information Form dated March 29, 2012, consult SEDAR at 
www.sedar.com.

Analyst Conference Call Advisory

Air Canada will host its quarterly analysts' call today, February 7, 2013 at 
09:00 ET. Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael 
Rousseau, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ben Smith, 
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, and Pierre Houle, 
Treasurer, will review Air Canada's fourth quarter 2012 financial results and 
will be available to answer questions from analysts and high yield bond 
holders.

Dial (416) 695-9706 or 1-866-225-0198 or listen (only) through our live audio 
web cast at http://bellwebcasting.ca/audience/index.asp?eventid=92604791

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of 
applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to analyses and 
other information that are based on forecasts of future results and estimates 
of amounts not yet determinable.  These statements may involve, but are not 
limited to, comments relating to preliminary results, guidance, strategies, 
expectations, planned operations or future actions.  Forward-looking 
statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as 
"preliminary", "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", 
"intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "project", "will", "would", and similar 
terms and phrases, including references to assumptions.

Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions, 
including those described herein and are subject to important risks and 
uncertainties.  Forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to, 
amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of 
the business.  Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in 
forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including without 
limitation, industry, market, credit and economic conditions, the ability to 
reduce operating costs and secure financing, pension issues, energy prices, 
employee and labour relations, currency exchange and interest rates, 
competition, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, environmental factors 
(including weather systems and other natural phenomena and factors arising 
from man-made sources), insurance issues and costs, changes in demand due to 
the seasonal nature of the business, supply issues, changes in laws, 
regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and 
actions by third parties as well as the factors identified throughout this 
news release and those identified in section 18 "Risk Factors" of Air Canada's 
2012 MD&A dated February 7, 2013.  The forward-looking statements contained 
in this news release represent Air Canada's expectations as of the date of 
this news release (or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made), 
and are subject to change after such date.  However, Air Canada disclaims any 
intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements 
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as 
required under applicable securities regulations.

HIGHLIGHTS

The financial and operating highlights for Air Canada for the periods 
indicated are as follows.
                                                                       
                             Fourth Quarter               Full Year

(Canadian dollars
in millions, except
where indicated)        2012     2011 Change $   2012     2011 Change $

Financial
Performance Metrics                                                    

Operating revenues     2,841    2,699      142 12,120   11,612      508

Operating income
(loss)                    46     (98)      144    437      179      258

Non-operating
income (expense)        (38)       38     (76)  (250)    (429)      179

Income (loss)
before income taxes
and discontinued
operations                 8     (60)       68    187    (250)      437

Net income (loss)
from continuing
operations                 8     (60)       68    186    (249)      435

Net income (loss)
from discontinued
operations - Aveos         -        -        -   (55)        -     (55)

Net income (loss)          8     (60)       68    131    (249)      380

Adjusted net income
(loss) ((1))             (6)    (167)      161     53    (122)      175

Operating margin
(%), excluding the
impact of benefit
plan amendments (
(2))                    1.6%   (3.6)%   5.2 pp   2.6%     1.5%   1.1 pp

Operating margin %      1.6%   (3.6)%   5.2 pp   3.6%     1.5%   2.1 pp

EBITDAR, excluding
the impact of
benefit plan
amendments ((2)
(3))                     284      162      122  1,327    1,242       85

EBITDAR ((3))            284      162      122  1,451    1,242      209

EBITDAR margin (%),
excluding the
impact of benefit
plan amendments (
(2) (3))               10.0%     6.0%   4.0 pp  10.9%    10.7%   0.2 pp

EBITDAR margin %(
(3))                   10.0%     6.0%   4.0 pp  12.0%    10.7%   1.3 pp

Cash, cash
equivalents and
short-term
investments            2,026    2,099     (73)  2,026    2,099     (73)

Free cash flow(
(4))                    (23)     (62)       39    187      356    (169)

Adjusted net debt (
(5))                   4,281    4,576    (295)  4,281    4,576    (295)

Net income (loss)
per share - diluted   $ 0.03 $ (0.22)   $ 0.25 $ 0.45 $ (0.92)   $ 1.37

Adjusted net income
(loss) per share -
diluted( (1))       $ (0.02) $ (0.60)   $ 0.58 $ 0.19 $ (0.44)   $ 0.63
                                                                       

Operating
Statistics                            Change %                 Change %

Revenue passenger
miles (millions)
(RPM)                 12,574   12,065      4.2 55,646   54,223      2.6

Available seat
miles (millions)
(ASM)                 15,484   15,290      1.3 67,269   66,460      1.2

Passenger load
factor %               81.2%    78.9%   2.3 pp  82.7%    81.6%   1.1 pp

Passenger revenue
per RPM ("Yield")
(cents)                 19.7     19.5      1.2   19.0     18.7      1.8

Passenger revenue
per ASM ("RASM")
(cents)                 16.0     15.4      4.2   15.8     15.3      3.2

Operating revenue
per ASM (cents)         18.4     17.7      3.9   18.0     17.5      3.1

Operating expense
per ASM ("CASM")
(cents)                 18.1     18.3    (1.3)   17.4     17.2      1.0

Adjusted CASM
(cents) ((6))           12.4     12.6    (2.0)   11.8     11.7      1.0

Average number of
full-time
equivalent (FTE)
employees
(thousands) ((7))       24.1     23.6      2.1   24.0     23.7      1.4

Aircraft in
operating fleet at
period end( (8))         351      352    (0.3)    351      352    (0.3)

Average fleet
utilization (hours
per day)( (9))           9.5      9.4      1.3   10.1     10.1      0.6

Revenue frequencies
(thousands)              134      133      0.5    557      551      1.1

Average aircraft
flight length
(miles) ((9))            863      857      0.8    891      892    (0.1)

Economic fuel cost
per litre  (cents)
((10))                  88.8     88.6      0.2   89.7     85.2      5.3

Fuel litres 
(millions) ((9))         924      912      1.3  3,976    3,937      1.0

Revenue passengers
carried (millions)
((11))                   8.3      7.9      5.1   34.9     33.9      2.9

(1)  Adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted net income (loss) per
     share - diluted are non-GAAP financial measures.  Refer to section
     20 "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" of Air Canada's 2012 MD&A dated
     February 7, 2013 for additional information.

(2)  In the third quarter of 2012, Air Canada recorded an operating
     expense reduction of $124 million related to changes to the terms
     of the ACPA collective agreement pertaining to retirement age. 

(3)  EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation,
     amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent), excluding the
     impact of benefit plan amendments, and EBITDAR are non-GAAP
     financial measures.  Refer to section 20 "Non-GAAP Financial
     Measures" of Air Canada's 2012 MD&A dated February 7, 2013 for
     additional information.

(4)  Free cash flow (cash flows from operating activities less
     additions to property, equipment and intangible assets) is a
     non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to section 9.5 of Air Canada's
     2012 MD&A dated February 7, 2013 for additional information.

(5)  Adjusted net debt (total debt less cash, cash equivalents and
     short-term investments plus capitalized operating leases) is a
     non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section 9.3 of Air Canada's
     2012 MD&A dated February 7, 2013 for additional information.

(6)  Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP financial measure.  Refer to section
     20 "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" of Air Canada's 2012 MD&A dated
     February 7, 2013 for additional information.

(7)  Reflects FTE employees at Air Canada.  Excludes FTE employees at
     third party carriers (such as at Jazz Aviation LP ("Jazz"))
     operating under capacity purchase agreements with Air Canada.

(8)  Includes Jazz aircraft covered under the capacity purchase
     agreement between Jazz and Air Canada ("Jazz CPA") and aircraft
     operated by third party carriers operating under capacity purchase
     agreements.  Refer to section 8 of Air Canada's 2012 MD&A dated
     February 7, 2013 for additional information on Air Canada's
     operating fleet.

(9)  Excludes charter operations.  Also excludes third party carriers
     operating under capacity purchase agreements, other than Jazz
     aircraft covered under the Jazz CPA.

(10) Excludes third party carriers, other than Jazz, operating under
     capacity purchase agreements.  Includes fuel handling expenses.
     Economic fuel price per litre is a non-GAAP financial measure. 
     Refer to sections 6 and 7 of Air Canada's 2012 MD&A dated February
     7, 2013 for additional information.

(11) Revenue passengers are counted on a flight number basis which is
     consistent with the IATA definition of revenue passengers carried.

 

 

Isabelle Arthur (Montréal)  514 422-5788 Peter Fitzpatrick 
(Toronto)  416 263-5576 Angela Mah (Vancouver)  604 270-5741

Internet :  aircanada.com

SOURCE: AIR CANADA

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2013/07/c3795.html

CO: AIR CANADA - CORPORATE - FINANCE
ST: Quebec
NI: AIR ERN 2575 WNEWS CONF 

-0- Feb/07/2013 11:00 GMT

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