SANTIAGO, March 17 LATAM Airlines
posted a net loss of $46.1 million for the fourth
quarter due to a drop in revenue and a foreign exchange loss
stemming from the Brazilian real's depreciation, the company
said on Monday.
The loss was well short of forecasts for a $2.4 million
profit in a Reuters poll.
The company, formed in mid-2012 when Chile's flagship LAN
took over Brazil's TAM, posted a net loss of $69.8 million in
the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Net income in the quarter was affected by a foreign
exchange loss of $142.6 million mainly resulting from the 6.5
percent depreciation of the Brazilian real between September
2013 and December 2013," LATAM Airlines said.
"The company continues working to largely mitigate the
exposure to the Brazilian real in TAM's balance sheet by June
2014," it added.
Total revenues in the fourth quarter fell 2.1 percent to
$3.4 billion due to sliding passenger and cargo revenue and the
weaker Brazilian currency.
For full-year 2013, the regional carrier's net loss amounted
to $281.1 million, versus a loss of $523.1 million the prior
Looking forward, LATAM Airlines said it has $3.06 billion in
fleet investment commitments between 2014 and 2015.
It said it expected operating margin to be about 6 to 8
percent for full-year 2014, excluding non-recurring costs
related to fleet restructuring.
That compares to an operating margin of 4.9 percent in 2013
and 0.7 percent in 2012.