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AMSTELVEEN/PARIS: February 16, 2018. The Air France KLM Group has reported a 6.8 percent rise in Q4 2017 cargo revenue to €583 million and €2.087 billion for the full-year.

The group said its cargo business turned a corner in the second half of last year as traffic grew 1.8 percent by the end of 2017 and revenue rose 1.6 percent year-on-year.

KLM Embraer 190The two airlines cite "solid demand growth to and from Asia and from Latin America in the second half of the year" coupled with improved freighter activity for the turnaround.

During the year, capacity rose 0.9 percent, traffic increased 1.8 percent and the load factor went up 0.6 percent to just under 60 percent across the combined network.

Group revenue rose 3.8 percent to €25.78 billion; and EBITDA jumped 20.3 percent to reach €3.26 billion for a 41.8 percent rise in operating result to €1.48 billion. Excluding a one-time pension expense for KLM pilots and cabin staff, the net profit would have been €1.15 billion and not -€274 million for the year.

Air France had a 2.7 percent year-on-year rise in turnover to reach €15.8 billion and a 216 percent jump in operating result to €588 million. KLM's gross revenue for 2017 rose 5.5 percent to €10.34 billion and its operating result leaped 229 percent to €910 million.

"Our results for 2017 confirm that we are on the right track. Thanks to the efforts of all KLM staff and the loyalty of our customers and partners, KLM achieved a record operating result," said president and CEO Pieter Elbers. "The results confirm that the strategy we launched in late 2014 – to cut costs on the one hand, while investing on the other – has proved successful.

"However, this does not imply that we can sit back. We have our house in order, but our competitors are building skyscrapers. That is why we need to keep growing and investing, so that we have a hand in shaping the game," he added.

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