August 29, 2013 / 11:31 PM / 4 years ago

Virgin Australia posts loss, declines to provide outlook

SYDNEY, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd reported a A$98.1 million ($87.6 million) full-year net loss on Friday, blaming difficult economic conditions, strong competition and one-off costs related to its recently acquired Skywest business.

Virgin declined to provide forecasts for the current financial year, citing an uncertain economic environment. It also said major shareholders Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines had agreed to provide a term loan worth A$90 million.

The loss after tax for the year to the end of June 2013 was within a A$95 million to A$110 million range forecast by the airline in a profit warning earlier this month.

Prior to that warning, analysts had expected a A$34.3 million net profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

The result contrasts with a well-received full-year net profit of A$6 million reported by rival Qantas Airways Ltd on Thursday.

Shares in Qantas surged 7 percent after the country’s flagship carrier revealed it shrank losses on its international arm to bring about the turnaround from a net loss of A$244 million a year earlier.

Air New Zealand, meanwhile, reported a near tripling in its annual profit on Thursday, as it flew more passengers and increased earnings at its cargo unit as the domestic economy perked up.

Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines will contribute to the A$90 million unsecured term loan facility on a pro-rata basis, in line with their current holdings in the airline.

Virgin Australia shares last closed at A$0.41 on Thursday. ($1 = 1.1203 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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