Gol Leads Ibovespa Higher as Route Cuts Boost Profitability

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Brazil’s second-biggest air carrier by market share, was the best performer on the Ibovespa stock index after saying a gauge of profitability rose last month as it cut flights.

The shares climbed 9.8 percent to a four-month high of 11.36 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo. The benchmark Ibovespa added 0.9 percent.

Net passenger income per available seat-kilometer, a measure of profitability known as Prask, rose 24 percent in August from a year earlier, the 17th consecutive increase, Gol said today in a regulatory filing. Domestic flights dropped 7.6 percent from a year earlier while international flights increased 22 percent.

“That shows Gol’s recovery plan is really working,” Sandro Fernandes, an analyst at brokerage firm Geraldo Correa, said by phone from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. “Investors are very excited with those numbers and expect further improvement in the coming quarters.”

The Sao Paulo-based airline has cut costs, reducing its workforce as of June by 13 percent from a year earlier to 16,465 employees.

Chief Executive Officer Paulo Kakinoff, who took over in July 2012, said in a Sept. 11 interview that his turnaround plan is showing results for the company that has posted losses in eight of the past nine quarters.

“Gol still has numerous strategic measures to be taken, which we cannot presently reveal,” Kakinoff said

The shares have tumbled 12 percent this year as a falling real drove up costs for dollar-denominated expenses such as fuel, plane leases and debt payments. The Ibovespa is down 12 percent and the currency has weakened 10 percent.

Fuel accounted for 41 percent of Gol’s second-quarter operating expenses, the most among 16 carriers in the Americas with at least 100 planes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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