Brazilian airline Gol announced preliminary unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2008. Net revenues reached 1.8 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 809.4 million), representing growth of 37.2% compared to the same period last year.
The airline company transported 6 million passengers during the quarter, representing growth of 8.7% over third quarter 2007. Ancillary revenues (cargo and other) increased 55.0% over third quarter 2007 to 178 million reais (US$ 80 million).
Consolidated operating income for the quarter was 61.2 million reais (US$ 27.5 million), representing an operating margin of 3.4%. Consolidated net loss for the quarter was 294.3 million (US$ 176.3 million), due to a negative exchange variation of 261.8 million reais with no impact on cash and negative net hedging results of 48 million reais. Consolidated net loss per share (EPS) was 1.47 reais; net loss per ADS was US$ 0.88.
Consolidated operating costs per ASK (CASK) (Cost per Available Seat Kilometer) increased 22.4% from 14.23 cents (R$) in third quarter 2007 to 17.42 cents (R$) in third quarter 2008.
Non-fuel CASK increased 13.6% to 9.87 cents (R$) due to planned lower aircraft utilization, extraordinary expenses related to aircraft return expenses, lower stage length, and increases in salaries, wages and benefits, sales and marketing and depreciation.
On September 30, the company's total liquidity was 2.4 billion reais (US$ 1.08 billion), comprised of: cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of 723.8 million reais (US$ 325.4 million), accounts receivable of 379.2 million reais (US$ 170.5 million), 621.8 million reais (US$ 279.6) in deposits with lessors and 668.3 million reais (US$ 300.5 million)Â deposited with Boeing as advances for aircraft acquisitions.
In line with its fleet renewal plan, the Company received four 737- 700NGs and eight 737-800NGs and removed ten 737-300s and eight 767-300s from the operating fleet during the quarter, resulting in a net reduction of eight aircraft in the operating fleet. The company plans to end 2008 with a consolidated fleet of 104 aircraft, mostly comprised of 737-800 and 737-700 aircraft.
Consolidated domestic RPKs (revenue passenger kilometers) decreased 17.7% and ASKs (available seat per km) decreased 4.6%, versus second quarter 2008. Consolidated international revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) increased 3.4% and ASKs decrease 16.6% versus second quarter 2008.
Consolidated RPKs increased 8.7% from 5,470 million in third quarter 2007 to 5,944 million in third quarter 2008 and ASKs increased 10.9% from 8,941 million in third quarter 2007 to 9,912 million in third quarter 2008. Consolidated average load factor decreased 1.2 percentage points versus third quarter 2007 to 60.0%. Consolidated break-even load factor decreased 1.9 percentage points versus third quarter 2007 to 57.9%.
Consolidated passenger yields increased 24.7% to R$27.09 cents, compared to a 57.1% increase in fuel price (WTI) in the same period. RASK increased 23.7% over third quarter 2007 to 18.04 cents (R$). Average fares were 275 reais (US$ 123.6).
Gol now offers over 790 daily flights to 59 different destinations in Brazil and South America, the most of any airline group. In third quarter 2008, Gol added 19 new daily flight frequencies. The company's low-cost operating structure permits flights to medium-sized cities with lower traffic volumes, allowing Gol to serve various destinations outside of Brazil's main economic centers.
On August 31, the company ceased long-haul services with the last intercontinental flight to Paris, France. Beginning August 31, the Company ceased operating Boeing 767s and now operates only Boeing 737s on its short and medium-haul flights.
On September 25, ANAC (Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency) approved the Company's corporate restructuring plan for its subsidiaries GTA and Varig. On September 30, the subsidiaries merged into one airline.
On October 19, Gol launched its new integrated route network. The new network compliments the company's unified structure by eliminating overlapping routes and schedules between Gol and VARIG, which improves flight occupancy levels by allowing the company to increase offerings in markets where it has consolidated operations while also allowing new connections between previously unlinked cities.
On October 16, the Company launched a new "Comfort Class" on VARIG's medium-haul international flights, which provides passengers with a number of important benefits, including a wide variety of meal choices, more legroom between seats, on-demand entertainment during the flight, and many other benefits.
Beginning on October 16, customers flying on both VARIG and Gol are able to accumulate miles through the SMILES frequent flyer program. Beginning November 16, miles can be exchanged for tickets to all destinations served by the Company.
On October 23 the Company signed an interline agreement with Germany- based Condor Airlines. Through this partnership, passengers of the European airline can purchase tickets on Gol to Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Maceió, Natal, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
The Company ended the quarter with 25.6% of its shares floating in the market. Gol's shares presented average daily trading volumes of US$ 19 million (31.7 million reais) during third quarter 2008.