euro adhoc: SkyEurope Holding / quarterly or semiannual financial statement / SkyEurope enjoys continued growth and further expansion into new markets . Passenger growth of 52.8% in the first half o

Geschrieben am 26-05-2006

Disclosure announcement transmitted by euro adhoc.
The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement.


Vienna, 26 May 2006


In the first half of its financial year, to 31 March 2006, SkyEurope
continued its very strong operational growth. Passenger volumes grew
by 52.8%, compared to the same period during the previous year, and
reached 866,843 passengers.

While seat capacity (ASK) increased by 43.8%, SkyEurope improved
its load factor by 2 percentage points to 68.4%.

This growth was primarily achieved in the second quarter of the
financial year, when the number of passengers rose by 63.2% as
compared to the same period during the previous year.

The positive load factor reflects the favourable market response to
SkyEurope's increased capacity and extension of the network.

In February 2006, SkyEurope announced a new base in Prague. The entry
into the Czech market is a logical step reinforcing SkyEurope's
leadership in Central Europe. Prague is the No.1 tourism
destination in Central Europe and enjoys the highest disposable
income per capita in the region. SkyEurope has based two
aircraft at Prague Airport, with an initial network of 9

The decision to open a new base was an opportunistic move as
slots became available at short notice at Prague Airport. To
address this opportunity, SkyEurope reallocated capacity to Prague
from less profitable routes.

In the first half of 2006, 17 new routes were added, with
SkyEurope's network now consisting of 70 routes to 37 destinations
in 19 European countries.


The first four of 16 firm orders for brand new Boeing 737-700
Next-Generation aircraft were delivered in March, April and May 2006.
These new aircraft are equipped with blended winglets technology
and leather seats. By the end of 2006, six new Boeing
737-700s will become part of SkyEurope's fleet, contributing
to the fleet's modernisation and anticipated further cost
reductions. This is the first season that SkyEurope will have
operated a single Boeing aircraft type fleet following the
phasing out all of its Embraer aircraft.

Of the 16 firm aircraft order, the first 12 are financed under
operating leases from GECAS. The four remaining aircraft are
expected to be delivered in the second half of 2007 have been
purchased directly from Boeing and will be financed "on-balance
sheet". SkyEurope is pleased to announce that it has mandated
Bank of Scotland Corporate to provide pre-delivery payment and
long term loan financing for these four new Boeing 737-700s (with a
combined value of USD 220m at list prices). These four owned
aircraft will strengthen SkyEurope's balance sheet and are expected
to provide a competitive cost of aircraft ownership. In line
with its peer group, SkyEurope aims to achieve a balanced finance
mix between owned and leased aircraft due to join its fleet.

In order to provide SkyEurope with capacity for its future
expansion, the Company intends to exercise in June 2006 purchase
rights for five Boeing 737- 700 aircraft delivering in 2008.

Financial results

| |
|Financial Highlights of the Group (according to IFRS) |
|(in million EUR) |H1 2006 |H1 2005 |Change |
|Passengers (in 000) |866,843 |567,410 |52.8% |
|Operating Revenues |51.2 |36.6 |40.0% |
|EBIT |(34.4) |(21.9) |57.4% |
|Adjusted EBIT * |(31.2) |(21.9) |42.9% |
|Margins (Adjusted EBIT*)|(61%) |(60%) |1.7% |
|Net Loss |(33.7) |(18.9) |78.6% |
| |
|* adjusted for delayed revenue recognition of service fees and |
|re-delivery provisions for Boeing 737 Classics |

Operating revenues increased from EUR 36.6m in the first half
of 2005 to EUR 51.2m in the first half of 2006, an increase of 40%.
SkyEurope managed to improve its adjusted unit revenues and
controllable costs despite its strong business growth. The
revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK), adjusted for
non-recurring items, increased by 3% to EURc 3.87. In January 2006,
SkyEurope introduced a new fare structure. Under this tariff model
SkyEurope no longer charges customers surcharges such as those
relating to fuel and insurance, as these costs are now to be
reflected in the base fare of the ticket, allowing for a more
transparent supply-and-demand based pricing model, also used by
Europe's leading low cost airlines. Moreover, under this new
model, revenues from service fees previously accounted for at the
time of booking are now released later (at the time of flying),
resulting in a seasonal shift of revenues. During the transition
phase, these changes negatively impacted the Company's revenues,
although the new pricing policy is expected to help boosting
load factors in the future.

Operating expenses rose by 47% in the first half year 2006, to
EUR 85.6m compared to EUR 58.4m in the same period during the
previous year. Fuel prices increased by 31% compared to the prior
year period. This had a negative impact on SkyEurope's operating
income in the first half year 2006, amounting to EUR 5.5 m. On a
unit costs base this corresponds to a 25% increase in fuel costs
per available seat kilometre, to EURc 1.62.

SkyEurope managed to lower costs per available seat kilometre
excluding fuel (CASK after fuel and non-recurring items), from
EURc 4.85 to EURc 4.59, a reduction of 5 percentage points, due
to efficiency gains and effective cost management. However, the
reduction in unit costs was offset by the impact of fuel price

In the first half year, SkyEurope introduced a currency hedging
programme covering its entire USD foreign exchange risk for the
financial year 2006. In addition, the Company was able to enter
into a favourable fuel hedge contract covering 90% of its jet
kerosene demand in the period from March to May 2006 at a rate of
USD 60.5 per bbl Brent equivalent.

The Company reported in the first half year a negative EBIT in an
amount of EUR 34.4m, an increase of EUR 12.5m, and a net loss of EUR
33.7m. This reflects the significant investment made by the Company
in terms of capacity expansion, opening of 17 new routes,
reallocation of capacity in connection with the establishment
of a new base in Prague and the effects of changing its pricing

Negative EBIT adjusted for non-recurring items amounted to EUR
31.2m for the first half year 2006. This is related to the delay
in revenue recognition of the previously charged service fee of
EUR 2.4m and redelivery provisions of EUR 0.8m for the Boeing Classic

The transition to the new pricing system generated a temporary
shortfall in revenues, while at the same time, revenues were
affected by the fact that in 2006, Easter was in April compared
to 2005 when it fell in March. Together with the increase in fuel
prices, these explanatory items amounted to a further negative
impact of EUR 8.3m on the Company's first half year earnings.

On a like-for-like basis, negative EBIT for the first half year,
adjusted for non-recurring events and explanatory items, is EUR
22.9m versus EUR 21.9m negative EBIT in the first half year of

Position regarding the group's property and finances

As at 31 March 2006, total equity amounted to EUR 0.2m compared to
EUR 33.8m as at 30 September 2005.

Income tax credits booked during the first half year amounted to EUR
0.8m. In the second quarter of FY2006, the Company wrote-off income
tax credits in an amount of EUR 1.7m.

Total non-current assets rose from EUR 15.8m to EUR 21.0m as a
result of pre- delivery payments related to the purchase of four
Boeing 737-700 aircraft (to be delivered in 2007) in an amount of
EUR 4.8m. Deferred tax assets increased from EUR 8.7m to EUR 9.2m
during the first half year.

Total current assets declined from EUR 67.9m as at 30 September
2005 to EUR 50.1m as at 31 March 2006 mainly as a result of
the financing of growing business operations and aircraft
investments during the winter season through the Company's working

Total liabilities rose to EUR 70.9m as at 31 March 2006 from EUR
49.8m as at 30 September 2005, due to higher unearned transport

Cash flows used in operating activities were negative at EUR
25.4m in the reporting period, because of seasonal effects in
the airline business and significant investments towards achieving
a critical mass, as explained under "Financial Results" above.


As expected, the weaker winter months left their mark on the first
half of the financial year 2006. SkyEurope has undertaken
significant investments towards achieving critical mass by
continuing to pursue its growth strategy. In the medium term,
this should result in a solid basis for further growth in revenues
and earnings. For the second half year 2006 (which includes the
peak summer season), higher passenger numbers and revenues are
expected that should have a positive effect on the further
development of the business.

An anticipated increase in capacity and further cost reductions in
the second half year are also expected to have a positive impact on
the development of the Company.

To take advantage of growth opportunities in countries expected to join the
European Union in the future, as well as to develop the SkyEurope brand in
large emerging markets in Eastern Europe, the Company will focus its
development on its "Go East" strategy. To provide the adequate capacity to
enter these markets, SkyEurope intends to exercise purchase rights for
additional aircraft to be financed in part by debt and in part by issuance of

new shares. Against this background, the Company is convening an
Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of its shareholders on Tuesday 20
June 2006 in Vienna to authorize its management to issue new shares
to finance the fleet and continued network expansion.

Shareholders attending the EGM will be invited to approve the
following resolutions: i) Ordinary capital increase of up to 20
million new shares, thereby increasing the Company's share capital
from its current level of E20 million to up to E40 million, and
on terms such that the shareholders' subscription rights will
be preserved. Determination of the final volume and specific terms
of any future capital increase will be on such terms as
the Company's Management Board sees fit in connection with future
capital raisings by the Company to finance its future growth, in
the light of effective demand and market conditions. ii)
Proportional increase of authorised share capital of up to 10
million shares from the current level of 5 million shares,
thereby increasing the Company's authorised share capital from
its current level of E5 million to up to E10 million for general
corporate purposes, including ensuring that the Company remains
owned and controlled by EEA member states and/or nationals
of EEA member states (and in such case the subscription rights of
existing shareholders would be excluded).

*** About SkyEurope Airlines ***

SkyEurope Airlines was founded on 6 September 2001 by Christian Mandl
and Alain Skowronek. With bases in Bratislava, Budapest, Krakow,
Warsaw and Prague, SkyEurope is the leading low cost low fare
airline in Central & Eastern Europe. SkyEurope operates a network of
70 routes to 37 destinations in 19 European countries, with its
fleet of 16 Boeing 737 aircraft.

SkyEurope Airlines ordered up to 32 Boeing Next-Generation 737-700
aircraft (of which 16 are subject to purchase rights). The first
16 firmly ordered new Boeing 737-700 will join the fleet in 2006
and 2007; to the extent that those purchase rights are exercised,
the remaining 16 aircraft are to be delivered to SkyEurope until the
end of 2010.

SkyEurope has been listed on the Vienna and Warsaw Stock Exchanges
since 27 September 2005.

end of announcement euro adhoc 26.05.2006 08:00:00

ots Originaltext: SkyEurope Holding
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Further inquiry note:
SkyEurope Holding AG
Mag. Erhard Schmidt, CFO
Tel.:+421 2 4850 1180

Branche: Air Transport
ISIN: AT0000497003
Index: WBI
Börsen: Wiener Börse AG / official market


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