The Perfect Enemy | LATAM Airlines posts $2.5 bln profit after emerging from bankruptcy - Reuters
February 17, 2024

  • Q4 revenue jumps 38% from a year earlier
  • Q4 costs at pre-pandemic level despite fuel surge
  • LATAM proposes to retain dividend to offset losses

SANTIAGO, March 9 (Reuters) – LATAM Airlines (LTM.SN) reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $2.538 billion, the company said on Thursday, and said the results reflected all financial renegotiations stemming from its bankruptcy proceedings.

The quarterly profit of South America’s leading airline compares to a loss of $2.755 billion during the same three-month period a year earlier.

However the company will propose not to pay out dividends and instead use its 2022 profits to offset accumulated losses, it said in a securities filing later on Thursday.

“Profits for the year ended December 31, 2022 must be used primarily to absorb such losses,” it said.

The airline, created by the 2012 merger of Chile’s LAN with Brazilian rival TAM, operates units in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

Revenue for Santiago-based LATAM during the quarter rose about 38% to $2.75 billion from the year-ago period.

Last November, LATAM announced the completion of a years-long restructuring process after it declared bankruptcy in 2020.

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Chief Financial Officer Ramiro Alfonsin told reporters at a news conference on Thursday that “all renegotiations since we left Chapter 11” bankruptcy protection are now reflected in the quarter’s income statement as profits.

The company’s operating result – which excludes the restructuring process – reached $139 million in the quarter, according to the airline.

Meanwhile, LATAM’S total costs for the quarter stood at $2.6 billion, almost in line with pre-pandemic levels, despite a nearly two-thirds increase in fuel costs between 2019 and 2022.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Sonali Paul

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