ABX Air Posts Profit

ABX Air (www.abxair.com), the airline operating unit that was separated from its former parent Airborne Express after DHL Worldwide Express acquired Airborne in August 2003, reported net income of $7.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. This compares with a net income of $3.5 million for the same period a year earlier.

"We have continued to focus on further improving productivity while providing premium service," said Joe Hete, president and CEO.

While total revenues actually declined 11.8% to $274.1 million operating expenses dropped 11.2% to $264.1 million. The result, an operating income of $9.9 million, was 25% behind operating income of $13.2 million in the prior-year period. According to ABX, 99% of its revenues were produced by two commercial agreements. One is an aircraft, crew, and maintenance agreement, the other a hub and long-haul services agreement. Both agreements are with Airborne/DHL.

Full-year results for 2003 resulted in a net loss of $446.9 million compared to net income of $13.3 million in 2002. The company said the loss resulted from a $466.1 million impairment charge net of taxes taken during the third quarter of 2003. Excluding the impairment charge, net earnings were $19.2 million. Total revenues decreased 1.1% to $1.16 billion and operating expenses climbed 52.9% to $1.72 billion. As a result, operating loss totaled $559.2 million versus operating income of $48.5 million in the prior year. Results for 2003 reflect 227 days as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airborne Express and 138 days as an independent company.

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