Air Arabia Q4 net rises 12 percent, below estimates

DUBAI Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:44am EST

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DUBAI Feb 17 (Reuters) - Budget carrier Air Arabia , the United Arab Emirates' only publicly listed carrier, reported a 12 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Monday on the back of increased passenger traffic.

The Sharjah-based carrier made a net profit of 94 million dirhams ($25.6 million) in the fourth quarter, compared with 84 million dirhams in the corresponding period of 2012, the company said in an emailed statement.

Three analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected Air Arabia to boost its quarterly profit by 20.5 percent on average, although their forecasts were based on a slightly different figure that excludes profit taken by minority shareholders in the firm's subsidiaries.

Air Arabia's annual profit rose 2 percent to 435 million dirhams.

The airline carried over 1.5 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 15 percent year-on-year. Full-year traffic rose also 15 percent to 6.1 million passengers.

Air Arabia said its directors had proposed a 7.25 percent cash dividend. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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