Jazeera Airways Group holds 2013 AGM, shareholders approve cash dividends of 15 fils per share

March 20, 2014 2:17 pm

Jazeera Airways Group held its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders at the company’s headquarters in Freedom Town, Kuwait, in an atmosphere of continued strong shareholder support for the company’s successes. Shareholders approved all proposals, including the issuance of a 15 fils cash dividend per share.

The meeting of shareholders was kicked off with a statement by the company’s Chairman of the Board, Marwan Boodai, who said: “Our company today has a very unique and performing business model. We operate and run a Kuwait-based commercial passenger airline that serves the region under the brand Jazeera Airways, and we operate an aircraft leasing business under the brand Sahaab Aircraft Leasing (Sahaab), which has assets placed with reputable airlines in North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

For Jazeera Airways, the growth opportunity for coming years will be driven by the growth of the domestic demand and the Group will continue to invest in the business to capitalize on this growth.

On-ground, Jazeera Airways is currently building its own gates and state-of-the-art bridges at Kuwait International Airport. Once operational in the second quarter of 2014, these gates will enable Jazeera Airways to offer an even better and more efficient customer experience. In the air, Jazeera Airways Group is embarking on a fleet modernization program. The Board and I look forward to making an announcement on the selected manufacturer in the third quarter of this year.

Our on-ground investments and fleet modernization program will reinforce and even enhance Jazeera Airways as the preferred airline for regional travel. We believe that the growth opportunities are at home, and we are well-positioned to take advantage of them in 2014 and beyond.

The year in review
Following on the double digit growth in the previous years, in 2013 Jazeera Airways Group registered a 19.6% increase in the net profit, making 2013 the company’s best performing year on record despite the political unrest in the region and the volatility of fuel prices.

Jazeera Airways Group Chairman, Marwan Boodai, said, “The year 2013 was an eventful year. In addition to sustaining good results for three years in a row, we were able to secure our funding for three aircraft, essentially closing our lending requirements for two years, we were able to reduce the Group’s debt to equity ratio from 1.7 in 2012 to 1.4 in 2013, and close the year with the best performance in the Group’s history.”

Key 2013 Developments:
? Jazeera Airways Group secured funding for the three remaining aircraft on an order of 15 A320s. The structured loan was led by Kuwait’s NBK and DVB Bank SE. As a result of the loan, the company has secured its financial commitments for the fleet.

? Jazeera Airways Group received two brand new Airbus A320 from the manufacturer. To date, Jazeera Airways Group has taken delivery of 14 Airbus A320s since 2005, as part of an order for 15 aircraft of the same type. The remaining aircraft of the order is scheduled to be delivered in May of 2014.

? Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) inducted Jazeera Airways into the ‘Kuwait 15 index KSX15’ – an index of the 15 top performers on the KSE. The KSX15 is defined by the KSE as their “flagship index … designed to be a bellwether indicator of the Kuwaiti economy and to track the performance of the Kuwait stock market”.

? Jazeera Airways launched two weekly flights to Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central.

? Sahaab Aircraft Leasing placed an aircraft on long-term lease with KSA-based FlyNas.

2013 Financial Highlights
? Operating revenue: KD65.6 million, up 4.7% from FY2012’s KD62.6 million
? Operating profit: KD20.6 million, up 11.4% from FY2012’s KD18.5 million
? Net profit: KD16.7 million, up 19.6% from FY2012’s KD13.9 million
? Average yield: up 5.1% from FY2012

Balance Sheet Highlights*:
? Hard assets of KD158 million
? Maintained cash and deposits above the KD40 million level
? Equity improved by KD17 million
? Debt to equity ratio down to 1.4 from 1.7 in 2012

*Percentages shown are calculated based on the absolute results, not on the displayed rounded figures.

FY 2013 Market Share Highlights:
? Kuwait-Dubai route: 5% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Amman route: 20% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Beirut route: 16% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Jeddah route: 9% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Mashhad route: 19% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Luxor route: 13% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Assiut route: 11% increase in flown passengers from 2012
? Kuwait-Sohag route: 22% increase in flown passengers from 2012

2013 Market Share
Jazeera Airways had a 5% increase in 2013’s flown passengers on the Kuwait-Dubai route in comparison to 2012, and the airline grabbed a 14% market share on the route. In October 2013, the airline launched flights to the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, increasing weekly flights serving both Dubai airports to an average of 27 flights a week.

Jazeera Airways was the leading airline serving the popular route between Kuwait and Amman last year with a 41% market share, and a 20% increase in flown passengers in comparison to 2012.

Despite year-long instabilities in Beirut, the airline saw a 16% increase in flown passengers between Kuwait and Beirut from 2012. Jazeera Airways grabbed a high 40% market share on the route.

On routes serving cities known for religious tourism, flown passengers on the Kuwait-Al Najaf route increased by 127% from 2012, by 9% on the Kuwait-Jeddah route, and by 19% on the Kuwait-Mashhad route.

The airline led the Kuwait-Al Najaf route in 2013 with an 81% market share. Jazeera Airways was the first airline in Kuwait and Iraq to launch flights between the two countries in April 2012 in over 22 years.

Jazeera Airways grabbed a 17% market share on the Kuwait-Jeddah route in 2013, and a 19% market share on the Kuwait-Mashhad route. The company also had a 12% market share on the Kuwait-Riyadh route, an 11% market share on the Kuwait-Bahrain route and a 4% market share on the Kuwait-Istanbul route.

On routes serving Egyptian cities, Jazeera Airways grabbed a 25% market share on the Kuwait-Cairo route, a 72% market share on the Kuwait-Luxor route, a 51% market share on the Kuwait-Sharm El Sheikh route, a 52% market share on the Kuwait-Assiut route, a 45% market share on the Kuwait-Sohag route, and a 19% market share on the Kuwait-Alexandria route.

The airline was the leading airline on routes serving Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor, Assiut and Sohag. Flown passengers increased by 11% on the Kuwait-Assiut route, by 13% on the Kuwait-Luxor route, and by 22% on the Kuwait-Sohag route.

For more information: jazeeraairways.com.
Reporters may contact: Leslie Mouawad / +965 99981334