LATAM Airlines Group has reported it doubled its losses to $219.2 million in 2015. Losses increased by nearly 100% from $109.8 million in 2014 to $219.2 billion last year. At the same time, the total revenue fell by 18.8% to $10.1 billion. The cargo division continues its struggle and performed a 22.4% drop to $1.3 billion.
Operating margin reached 6.2% for the quarter, and reached 5.1% for the full year, slightly above the upper bound of the guidance provided by the Company and 1.0% above the operating margin reached during full year 2014. LATAM’s improved results were mainly driven by a significant reduction in operating costs due to lower fuel prices, as well as by the Company’s ongoing cost savings initiatives and the positive effect of local currency devaluations on our costs.
Enrique Cueto, CEO of Latam Airlines stated : “Despite the slowdown in growth in the region and the depreciation of all local currencies, LATAM was able to improve our operating result by one percentage point compared to 2014, as a result of our focus on cost discipline and network enhancement.”
The Company’s ongoing cost savings initiatives launched in 2014 have resulted in efficiency gains during the quarter and throughout 2015. During the year, LATAM achieved total cost reductions of approximately US$325 million, above our initial estimates. In addition to these efficiencies, operating costs have also benefited from the devaluations of local currencies and, together, have resulted in an 11.5% decline in our cost per ASK-equivalent (excluding fuel) for 2015.
LATAM will be upgrading its fleet in 2016, including cutting its freighters. It has three Boeing 777-200 Freighter and eight Boeing 767-300 Freighters. One 767-300F will be retired in 2016 followed by another in 2017, and they will be joined by a 777-200F in 2017. LATAM will retire its Airbus A330-200s in 2016 and take delivery of six Airbus A350-900s and five Boeing 787-9s. By 2018 its widebody fleet will consist of 34 767-300s, 13 A350-900s, seven Boeing 777-300ERs, 10 Boeing 787-8s and 18 787-9s.