Flybe braced for worse than expected annual results

Flybe saw revenues fall by 3.8 per cent in the last quarter of the year.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

British airline Flybe is bracing for worse than expected annual results after it recorded a drop in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2014.

The Exeter-based company announced a 3.8 per cent fall to £126.8 million in the last three months of the year. Officials confirmed that this disappointing performance in the latter stages of the year will impact on its annual results. Flybe confirmed that it would be "around break-even" when it posts its results for the 12 months to March 31st.

News of Flybe's pending poor results sent shares tumbling with a 23 per cent fall before a brief rally. The company opened on Tuesday (January 27th) 4.33 per cent up. It did not take away from the substantial downturn in the days previous.

Away from the disappointing revenue figures there was some positivity for Flybe UK which saw a 2.4 per cent growth in passenger revenue per seat to £50.23. There was also an 8.4 per cent improvement in aircraft utilisation with block hours per operating aircraft rising from 7.3 hours to 8.0 hours.

Saad Hammad, Flybe chief executive officer, was upbeat about the trading update and said: "Flybe's improvement in its core UK business continues to progress.  Only a year into our three year transformation we now have a platform which enables us to compete in a tough environment where the consumer demands value."

In November, Flybe announced the launch of a new link between England and Northern Ireland. The company stated that it would be running a year-round service between George Best Belfast City Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The Northern Irish airport described the link as a "welcome addition" to its network.

While it has made a new connection between England and Northern Ireland, Flybe announced earlier in January that it would be suspending its Inverness to London service due to a lack of demand.

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