UPDATE 1-Flybe hit by rising fuel costs, weak UK economy

Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:47am EDT

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* Underlying EBITDAR 88.8 mln stg vs 113.8 mln stg

* Group revenue 615.3 mln stg vs 595.5 mln stg

LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, posted a steep fall in full-year profit, hit by tough economic conditions in Britain and rising fuel costs.

The British carrier on Monday reported underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring (EBITDAR) of 88.8 million pounds ($136.9 million) for the year to the end of March. Group revenues rose 3.3 percent to 615.3 million pounds.

It called the performance, which was hit by a 5 percent decline in its core UK market and 3.7 million pounds of losses at its Flybe Europe division, "disappointing".

Flybe and Finnair last year bought Finland's biggest domestic carrier Finnish Commuter Airlines (FCA) for $35 million to expand in the Baltic market.

It was also negatively impacted by inflationary pressures and high fuel prices.

The company, which floated in London in 2010, said its fuel costs rose 15 percent to 106.4 million pounds during the year.

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