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Alitalia Sees euro380 million operating loss in 2006

Alitalia Sees euro380 million operating loss in 2006

Alitalia SpA said it expects to make an operating loss of about euro380 million (US$490 million) in fiscal 2006, as the government waits to discover Monday who is interested in buying the struggling airline.
Alitalia said in a statement late Sunday that operating losses up to Nov. 30 amounted to euro197 million (US$254.15 million) following a request from Italy's securities regulator, Consob.
The Rome-based airline said the losses were a result of strong competition in the market from low-cost airlines, higher fuel costs and lower revenues due to strikes by employees that grounded flights.
The carrier said it has sufficient liquidity for "more than 12 months" of operations.
Alitalia shares fell 1.5 percent to euro1.05 (US$1.35) in early morning trade on the Milan stock exchange.
The Italian government has put the airline up for sale, asking for expressions of interest by Monday. The center-left government, which holds 49.9 percent of Alitalia, said at the end of 2006 it wanted to sell at least 30.1 percent.
In announcing conditions for the sale last month, the government said buyers must have minimum capital of euro100 million (US$132 million) and must continue employing Alitalia's 18,000 workers, keep the national routes and maintain the carrier's Italian identity.
According to reports in Italy, three groups of private investors are expected to submit expressions of interest to buy Alitalia: Italian private equity fund Management & Capitali, U.S. private equity fund Texas Pacific Group and Italian carrier Air One SpA.
On Sunday, Alitalia also said its net debt at the end of December was euro1.03 billion (US$1.33 billion), up 6.4 percent from euro964 million (US$1.2 billion) at the end of November. Passenger traffic on its flights fell 4.5 percent to 1.8 million in December compared with the same month in 2005, the company said.


Updated : 2021-07-25 08:53 GMT+08:00