(Adds chief executive comment)
WELLINGTON, June 1 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand on Thursday upwardly revised its outlook for 2017, saying it expected earnings before tax to exceed NZ$525 million ($371.81 million).
The airline had said when reporting its half-year results in February that it forecast full-year earnings of NZ$475 million to NZ$525 million.
“Our growth has been supported by robust demand drivers that are expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future,” the company said in a presentation to investors, released on the stock exchange.
It singled out New Zealand’s fast-growing economy, which was prompting domestic demand, as well as record numbers of tourists entering the country as the main factors underpinning the forecast strong results.
“The growth of Air New Zealand has been in concert with the growth in tourism to New Zealand,” chief executive Christopher Luxon said in a speech to investors, broadcast online.
Nevertheless, Luxon said, that ten new airlines had entered the market in the past few years and the environment was becoming much more competitive.
If the forecast results are met, they would be the airline’s second-highest ever after it posted record earnings before tax of NZ$663 million in full-year 2016.
$1 = 1.4120 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Dan Grebler