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LAN AIRLINES REPORTS NET INCOME OF US$42.6 MILLION FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2007

Santiago, July 25, 2007

Santiago, Chile, July 25, 2007 - LAN Airlines S.A. (NYSE: LFL), one of Latin America's leading passenger and cargo airlines, announced today its consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2007. "LAN" or "the Company" makes reference to the consolidated entity, which includes several passenger and cargo airlines in Latin America. All figures were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Chile and are expressed in U.S Dollars.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • LAN reported net income of US$42.6 million for the second quarter of 2007, a 158.9% increase compared to net income of US$16.5 million in the second quarter of 2006.
  • The Company reported operating income of US$56.0 million for the second quarter of 2007 compared to operating income of US$25.4 million in the second quarter of 2006, increasing its operating margin from 3.7% to 7.3%. This increase was the result of an 11.5% increase in revenue, which offset a 7.4% increase in operating costs.
  • Total revenues for the second quarter of 2007 reached US$769.6 million compared to revenues of US$690.0 million in the second quarter of 2006, due mainly to an 18.7% increase in passenger revenues, while cargo revenues increased 3.5% and other revenues decreased 6.3%. Passenger and cargo revenues accounted for 60% and 36% of total revenues, respectively, in the second quarter of 2007. Revenue growth in the passenger business can be largely attributed to the expansion of LAN's international operations, both regional and long-haul.
  • During the second quarter, LAN completed the nationwide launch of its new business model for short-haul operations on all domestic routes within Chile, with excellent results. Domestic traffic in Chile grew 29.6% during the quarter while domestic load factors increased 9 points to 68.4%, largely driven by fare reductions of over 30% on the lowest fare classes. At the same time, CASK in the domestic business has been reduced via a larger Airbus fleet, increased fleet utilization rates, longer flight legs, and lower distribution costs.
  • In July LAN's Board of Directors approved orders for a total of 32 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be received between 2011 and 2016. The total investment in these new aircraft will reach approximately US$ 3.2 billion, the largest investment in the Company's history, assuring LAN's future growth and commitment to the development of air travel in Latin America. LAN has also placed orders for four Boeing 777 freighters to be received starting in 2009.
  • In June 2007, LAN successfully completed an equity offering raising a total of US$320 million in the Chilean and United States markets through the placement of 19,881,819 common shares. With this, LAN's total shares outstanding now amount to 338,790,909. An additional 2,209,091 common shares have not yet been placed, and are reserved for a Company employee stock option plan.

Management Comments on Second Quarter 2007 Results

LAN reported net income of US$42.6 million in the second quarter of 2007. This result reflects strong capacity expansion, with significant margin improvements resulting mainly from lower costs per ATK compared to the second quarter of 2006. Total revenues increased 11.5% during the quarter, while LAN's operating margin improved from 3.7% to 7.3%.

Passenger revenues grew 18.7% during the quarter, due mainly to a 24.3% expansion in capacity, partially offset by a 4.4% decline in revenues per ASK. The latter was driven by an 8.5% decline in yields, partially offset by an increase in load factors from 67.8% to 70.8%. LAN's strong traffic growth during the second quarter of 2007 is especially noteworthy considering that the second quarter is seasonally the weakest quarter for passenger traffic in Latin America. During this quarter, the Company managed its capacity in order to respond to demand growth and market opportunities. As a consequence, capacity increased on all of LAN's routes, with the largest capacity increases on regional routes. Capacity also increased in all of the Company's domestic markets, namely Chile, Peru and Argentina. During the quarter, yields decreased mainly as a result of decreases in domestic markets resulting from the implementation of the Company's new business model for short-haul operations, as well as decreases on certain regional routes compared to the second quarter of 2006.

LAN's strategy in the cargo business seeks to rationalize its capacity expansion by focusing on the most profitable routes, as well as optimizing its fleet by replacing less efficient ACMI leases with its own Boeing 767 freighters. The implementation of this strategy during the second quarter of 2007 achieved important profitability improvements; margins in the cargo business contributed significantly to LAN's consolidated margin expansion during this quarter. During the second quarter of 2007, cargo revenues rose 3.5% as capacity rose 7.6% and unit cargo revenues decreased 3.7%. Lower revenues per ATK resulted mainly from a 1.3% decrease in yields, as well as a decline in load factors from 67.0% to 65.4%. Yields were impacted during the quarter by the aforementioned change in route mix.

Operating expenses rose 7.4% compared to the second quarter of 2006, as capacity increased 12.8%. This led to a 3.9% decrease in total costs per ATK (including net financial expenses). Excluding the impact of lower fuel prices, which generated US$2.4 million in lower fuel costs for the quarter, unit costs decreased 5.0%. Excluding fuel costs, unit costs decreased mainly as a result of a change in the commission structure of the cargo business, lower commissions in the passenger business, lower wages and benefits expenses, and lower fleet costs resulting from fewer aircraft rentals and ACMI leases. These factors were partially offset by higher aircraft maintenance costs.

The Company recorded a US$7.6 million non-operating loss in the second quarter of 2007 compared to an US$8.8 million non-operating loss in the second quarter of 2006. In the second quarter of 2007, interest expenses increased due to higher debt related to fleet financing, while interest income increased due to higher cash balances resulting from the proceeds of the equity offering completed during the quarter. The Company recorded a US$4.6 million fuel hedging gain in the second quarter of 2007, compared to a US$10.4 million fuel hedging gain in the second quarter of 2006. LAN has hedged approximately 29% of its fuel requirements for the third and fourth quarters of 2007. The Company has not hedged any of its fuel requirements for 2008.

Other non-operating income/expenses in the second quarter of 2007 also included a US$4.3 million one-time cost related to the sale of the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp. The Company also received US$3.4 million from Airbus related with a change in the delivery schedule of certain Airbus A318 aircraft.

LAN continues to maintain a solid financial position, with ample liquidity and a sound financing structure. At the end of the quarter LAN had US$650 million in cash, cash equivalents and available credit lines. Additionally, the Company's long-term debt only finances aircraft, has 12 to 18-year repayment profiles and features competitive interest rates.

During the quarter, LAN continued with its retrofit program to reconfigure all of its Boeing 767 passenger aircraft with its new Premium Business Class and upgraded Economy Class. As of June 30, 2007, eleven of LAN's 21 Boeing 767 passenger aircraft had this new configuration.

Consistent positive results and a solid balance sheet have enabled LAN to continue advancing on a number of long-term initiatives. These plans, which encompass all levels and business units, are aimed at improving LAN's long-term strategic position by enabling the Company to address opportunities, strengthen its market position and raise competitiveness.

EBITDAR Calculation (1)

The following is a calculation of LAN's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rentals), which the Company considers useful indicators of operating performance.

EBITDAR (in US$ millons)
  2Q07 2Q06 %Chg 1H07 1H06 %Chg
Revenues 769.6 690.0 11.5% 1600.9 1418.1 12.9%
Operating Expenses (713.6) (664.6) 7.4% (1421.4) (1324.0) 7.4%
Operating Income 56.0 25.4 120.3% 179.5 94.1 90.7%
       
Depreciation and Amortization 35.2 29.0 21.4% 71.9 57.8 24.4%
EBITDA 91.2 54.4 67.6% 251.4 151.9 65.5%
EBITDA Margin 11.8% 7.9%   15.7% 10.7%
       
Aircraft Rentals 38.3 39.4 -2.8% 76.2 78.4 -2.8%
EBITDAR 129.4 93.8 38.1% 327.6 230.3 42.3%
EBITDAR Margin 16.8% 13.6%   20.5% 16.2%

(1) EBITDA and EBITDAR are non-GAAP measures and should not be considered in isolation nor as a substitute for net income prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in Chile as a measure of operating performance. Furthermore, these calculations may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.

Recent Events

New Business Model for Domestic/Regional Operations
During the quarter, LAN completed the nationwide launch of its new business model for short-haul operations on all domestic routes within Chile, with excellent results. Domestic traffic in Chile grew 29.6% during the quarter, while domestic load factors increased 9 points to 68.4%, largely driven by fare reductions of over 30% on the lowest fare classes. At the same time, CASK in the domestic business has been reduced via a larger Airbus fleet, increased fleet utilization rates, longer flight legs, and lower distribution costs as a result of the reduction in commissions to agents and higher Internet sales. Internet sales in the Chilean domestic operations increased from 16% in 2006 to 34% in June 2007.

Capital Increase
On April 5, 2007, LAN's Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting approved a share issuance of 22,090,910 common shares, amounting to 6.9% of the Company's current capital on a fully diluted basis.  Furthermore, as approved at the Shareholders Meeting, 10% of this issuance will be designated for the implementation of a stock option plan for Company employees, under conditions to be defined by the Company's Board of Directors.

Fleet Plan
During the quarter, LAN continued the expansion of its fleet. In May, the Company received its first Airbus A318 aircraft, destined for operations on domestic routes within Chile. To continue the growth of its long-haul passenger operations, the Company also received a new Boeing 767-300ER, the eleventh of LAN's long haul passenger aircraft to feature the new Premium Business and Economy classes. In July LAN also received its fifth leased Airbus A340 for ultra long haul routes.

LAN's complete fleet plan and associated capital expenditures are shown in the table below.
Year End fleet 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
PASSENGER FLEET            
737-200 16 6 - - - -
A320/A319/A318 30 37 53 51 57 66
             
767-300 20 22 26 28 28 28
A340-300 4 5 8 8 8 8
             
TOTAL PASSENGER FLEET 70 70 87 87 93 106
             
CARGO FLEET            
737-200 Cargo 1 1 - - - -
767-200 F Cargo 9 9 9 9 9 9
777-200 F Cargo - - - 2 2 4
             
TOTAL CARGO FLEET 10 10 9 11 11 13
             
TOTAL 80 80 96 98 104 119
             
Total Capex US$ millions 687 476 936 269 243 660

In July LAN's Board of Directors approved orders for a total of 32 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, including 26 owned and six leased aircraft, to be received between 2011 and 2016. The total investment in these new aircraft will reach approximately US$ 3.2 billion, the largest investment in the Company's history, and assures LAN's future growth and commitment to the development of air travel in Latin America. Furthermore, the Company announced in June that it will incorporate four new Boeing 777 freighter aircraft into its fleet starting in 2009. This model is a world-class freighter, with the largest capacity and the best efficiency performance in its category.

Sale of Subsidiaries

During the second quarter of 2007, LAN completed the sale of the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp, including the Miami-based companies Lan Box Inc. and courier company SkyNet SA, which were not part of the Company's core airline business. The sale generated a one-time, non-operating charge of US$4.3 million in the second quarter.

Outlook

The actions mentioned under "Recent Events" above are part of a broad set of initiatives aimed at reinforcing LAN's future performance. The Company's strong second quarter operating performance provides a solid base for long-term growth and profitability. As a consequence, LAN is in a position to plan for capacity expansion in response to growth opportunities, while leveraging opportunities to improve its cost performance. Combined, LAN believes that these elements will enable the Company to consolidate its position as Latin America's leading international carrier.

LAN has embarked on a very significant fleet expansion program, which includes the delivery of a total of 11 passenger aircraft in 2007 and 25 in 2008. In addition to more aircraft, ASK growth will be enhanced as a result of increased aircraft utilization and, to a lesser extent, the densification of its current fleet. Overall, LAN expects passenger ASK growth to be between 19-21% in 2007 and between 28-30% in 2008. LAN expects growth in the cargo business in 2007 will largely be driven by capacity in the belly space of passenger aircraft, as well as from possible additional ACMI leases in 2008. As a result, the Company estimates cargo ATK growth of 4-6% in 2007, and 8-10% in 2008.

Consolidated First Quarter Results

Net income for the second quarter of 2007 amounted to US$42.6 million compared to net income of US$16.5 million in the same period of 2006, an increase of 158.9%. Excluding an extraordinary one-time severance charge in the amount of US$5.3 million recorded in the second quarter of 2006, net income grew 95.4%. Net margin for the quarter increased from 2.4% in 2006 to 5.5% in 2007.

Operating income amounted to US$56.0 million in the second quarter of 2007 as compared to operating income of US$25.4 million in the second quarter of 2006. Operating margin for the quarter increased from 3.7% to 7.3%.

Total operating revenues grew 11.5% compared to the second quarter of 2006, reaching US$769.6 million. This reflected a:

  • 18.7% increase in passenger revenues to US$458.4 million,
  • 3.5% increase in cargo revenues to US$277.3 million, and a
  • 6.3% decrease in other revenues to US$33.9 million.

Passenger and cargo revenues accounted for 60% and 36% of total revenues for the quarter, respectively.

Passenger revenues were higher driven by a 29.7% increase in traffic, partly offset by an 8.5% decrease in yields. Load factors increased from 67.8% to 70.8%, as traffic outpaced the 24.3% increase in capacity. Overall, revenues per ASK decreased 4.4%. Traffic grew as a result of a 29.6% increase in Chilean domestic traffic, and a 29.7% increase in international traffic (including domestic operations in Peru and Argentina). International traffic accounted for 88% of total passenger traffic during the quarter. Yields decreased 8.5% mainly due to fare decreases on regional routes, as well as on domestic routes related with LAN's new business model for short-haul operations .

Cargo revenues increased 3.5% due to a 4.9% increase in traffic, partly offset by a 1.3% yield decrease. Yields decreased primarily due to the change in route mix mainly given the reduction of frequencies to the European market where yields were higher, but profitability was lower than other routes. Capacity during the quarter increased 7.6%. As a consequence, load factors decreased from 67.0% to 65.4%. Revenues per ATK decreased 3.7% compared to the second quarter of 2006.

Other revenues decreased 6.3%, mainly driven by the sale in the second quarter of 2007 of the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp, including the Miami-based companies Lan Box Inc. and courier company SkyNet SA, which were not part of the Company's core airline business. This effect was partly offset by increased revenues from on board sales and aircraft rentals, maintenance and handling services to third parties.

Total operating expenses increased 7.4% during the quarter, while capacity, as measured in system ATKs, increased 12.8%. As a consequence, unit (ATK) costs decreased 3.9%. Lower jet fuel prices during the quarter led to approximately US$2.4 million in lower fuel costs. Excluding fuel, unit costs decreased 5.0%. Changes in operating expenses were driven by:

  • Wages and benefits increased 5.6%, in line with inflation and the impact of a stronger Chilean peso on local Peso-denominated wages. This was offset by a lower headcount as compared to the second quarter of 2006, despite the 12.8% increase in operations.
  • Fuel costs increased 11.4%, as a 12.7% increase in consumption was offset by a 1.1% decrease in prices, as well as by fuel efficiencies resulting from a newer fleet.
  • Commissions to agents decreased 11.3% due to a 12.5% increase in traffic revenues (passenger and cargo), which was offset by a 3.4 point reduction in average commissions. This reduction was mainly related to a change in the commission structure in the cargo business, as well as to lower commissions in the passenger business in Chile.
  • Depreciation and amortization increased 21.4%, mainly due to the incorporation of five new Boeing 767 aircraft, eight new Airbus A319 aircraft and one new Airbus A318 aircraft.
  • Other rental and landing fees increased 12.1%, mainly due to the impact of increased operations on airport landing fees and handling expenses, which were offset in part by lower variable aircraft rentals, as a result of lower ACMI leases in the cargo business, in addition to the termination of certain cargo allotment agreements.
  • Passenger service expenses increased 23.0%, driven by the 31.8% increase in the number of passengers transported during the quarter, partially offset by changes in the passenger and route mix.
  • Aircraft rentals decreased 2.8% mainly due to a decrease in the average number of leased aircraft.
  • Maintenance expenses increased 49.7% mainly as a result of the expansion in operations, a larger fleet and the increased fleet utilization, as well as higher maintenance rates per hour due to escalation in maintenance contracts.
  • Other operating expenses increased 3.1% due to increased operations, which resulted in increased sales costs. This was partially offset by the de-consolidation of the costs related to the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp, which were sold during the second quarter.

Non-operating results for the second quarter of 2007 amounted to a US$7.7 million loss compared to an US$8.8 million loss in the second quarter of 2006.

  • Interest income increased 156.9% due to higher average cash balances resulting from the proceeds of the equity offering completed during this quarter.
  • Interest expenses increased 37.5% due to increased average long-term debt related to fleet financing
  • In the other income-net item, the Company recorded an US$8.0 million gain compared to a US$3.7 million gain in 2006. In the second quarter of 2006, this item included a US$6.4 million pre-tax, one-time charge related to severance payments. The Company recorded a fuel hedging gain of US$4.6 million in the second quarter of 2007 (compared to a US$10.4 million gain in the second quarter of 2006), as well as a US$4.6 million foreign-exchange gain (compared to a negligible gain in the second quarter of 2006). In the second quarter of 2007, this item also included a US$4.3 million one-time cost related to the sale of the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp. The Company also received US$3.4 million from Airbus related with a change in the delivery schedule of certain Airbus A318 aircraft.

Consolidated First Half 2007 Results

Net income for the first half of 2007 amounted to US$128.7 million compared to net income of US$96.1 million in the same period of 2006, an increase of 33.9%. Excluding extraordinary items that amounted to US$28.3 million during the first half of 2006, net income rose 89.9% and net margin for the period increased from 6.8% in 2006 to 8.0% in 2007.

Operating income amounted to US$179.5 million in the first half of 2007 compared to US$94.1 million in the first half of 2006. Operating margin for the period increased from 6.6% to 11.2%.

Total operating revenues grew 12.9% compared to the first half of 2006, reaching US$1.6 billion. This reflected a:
  • 21.0% increase in passenger revenues to US$995.8 million,
  • 1.9% increase in cargo revenues to US$532.6 million, and a
  • flat other revenues which amounted to US$72.5 million.

Passenger and cargo revenues accounted for 62% and 33% of total revenues for the period, respectively.

Passenger revenues grew driven by a 28.0% increase in traffic, partly offset by a 5.5% decrease in yields. Load factors increased from 71.5% to 74.6%, as traffic outpaced the 22.7% increase in capacity. Overall, revenues per ASK decreased 1.4%. Traffic grew as a result of an 18.5% increase in Chilean domestic traffic and a 29.5% increase in international traffic (including domestic operations in Peru and Argentina). International traffic accounted for 87% of total passenger traffic during the period. Yields decreased 5.5% mainly due to fare decreases on regional routes, and on domestic routes related to the new business model for short-haul operations, as well as lower fuel surcharges in the beginning of the period resulting from lower WTI prices compared to the same period of 2006.

Cargo revenues increased 1.9% due to a 3.7% increase in traffic, partially offset by a 1.8% yield decrease. Yields decreased primarily due to the change in route mix mainly given the reduction of frequencies to the European market where yields were higher, but profitability was lower than other routes , as well as lower fuel surcharges in the beginning of the period compared to the same period of 2006 . Traffic growth was exceeded by a 4.8% capacity increase. As a consequence, load factors decreased from 65.6% to 64.9%. Revenues per ATK decreased 2.8% compared to the first half of 2006.

Other revenues remained flat, as increased revenues from on-board sales and aircraft rentals, maintenance and handling services to third parties were offset by the sale in the second quarter of 2007 of the subsidiaries of Lan Logistics Corp, including the Miami-based companies Lan Box Inc. and courier company SkyNet SA, which were not part of the Company's core airline business .

Total operating expenses increased 7.4% during the period while capacity, as measured in system ATKs, increased 12.0%. As a consequence, unit (ATK) costs decreased 3.3%. Lower jet fuel prices during this period led to approximately US$7.4 million in lower fuel costs. Excluding fuel, unit costs decreased 3.7%. Changes in operating expenses were driven by:
  • Wages and benefits increased 6.2%, driven by the expansion in the Company's operations, offset in part by lower headcount and the impact of a weaker Chilean peso on local Peso-denominated wages.
  • Fuel costs increased 9.3%, as an 11.3% increase in consumption was offset by a 1.8% decrease in prices, as well as by fuel efficiencies resulting from a newer fleet.
  • Commissions to agents decreased 8.1% due to a 13.6% increase in traffic revenues (passenger and cargo), which was offset by a 2.8 point reduction in average commissions. This reduction was mainly related to a change in the commission structure in the cargo business, as well as lower commissions in the passenger business in Chile.
  • Depreciation and amortization increased 24.4%, mainly due to the incorporation of five new Boeing 767 aircraft, eight new Airbus A319 aircraft and one new Airbus A318 aircraft.
    Other rental and landing fees increased 8.5%, mainly due to the impact of increased landing fees and handling expenses, which were offset in part by lower variable aircraft rentals as a result of lower ACMI leases in the cargo business, as well as the termination of certain cargo allotment agreements.
  • Passenger service expenses increased 22.6%, driven by the 28.8% increase in the number of passengers transported during the period, partially offset by changes in the passenger and route mix.
  • Aircraft rentals decreased 2.8% mainly due to a decrease in the average number of leased aircraft.
  • Maintenance expenses increased 33.1% mainly as a result of the expansion in operations, a larger fleet and the increased utilization of the fleet, as well as higher maintenance rates per hour due to escalation in maintenance contracts.
  • Other operating expenses increased 10.0% due to increased operations, which resulted in increased sales costs and costs related to the Company's frequent flyer program, "LanPass". This was partially offset by the de-consolidation of the costs related to the subsidiaries of Lan Logistic Corp, which were sold during the second quarter of 2007.

Non-operating results for the first half of 2007 amounted to a US$27.4 million loss compared to a US$19.4 million gain in the first half of 2006.

  • Interest income increased 70.6% due to higher average cash balances resulting from the proceeds of the equity offering completed during the second quarter.
  • Interest expenses increased 42.4% due to increased average long-term debt related to fleet financing.
  • In the other income-net item, the Company recorded a US$3.5 million gain compared to a US$41.9 million gain in 2006. In the first half of 2006, this item included a US$40.3 million pre-tax, one-time gain related to the change in the Company's aircraft maintenance accounting policy and a US$6.4 million pre-tax, one-time loss related to severance payment charges. The Company recorded a fuel hedging gain of US$0.1 million in the first half of 2007 (compared to a US$7.5 million gain in the first half of 2006), as well as a US$5.2 million foreign-exchange gain (compared to a US$0.2 million gain in the first half of 2006).