El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
El Al on Thursday reported a loss of $18.8 million in 2012, a blow only made
less harsh because it was an improvement over its 2011 losses of nearly $50m.
The total loss in the fourth quarter was $26.5m.
The company’s overall
revenues fell slightly in that time period from $2.04 billion to $2.02b., though
its gross profit increased some 13 percent to $313.3m.
El Al CEO Elyezer
Shkedy said the losses were due to a difficult global market. The company was
taking steps to increase efficiency, he said, adding that it had reduced its
workforce by 135 people, reducing salary expenditures.
Operation Pillar of Defense, an eight-day military conflict during which rockets
were fired into Israel’s biggest cities from the Gaza Strip, also contributed to
a fall in tourism that hit the company, Shkedy said.
“This year was
primarily characterized by a significant reduction of expenses and dealing with
increased competition and the damage of Pillar of Defense that significantly
affected the results of the fourth quarter,” El Al CFO Nissim Malki said.