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Air France-KLM net loss widens on tax charge

Air France-KLM back in the black despite difficult economy: CEO

Air France-KLM on Thursday posted a full year net loss of 1.83 billion euros ($2.51 billion), much wider than analysts had expected due to a tax impairment charge, but returned to profit at operating profit level.

Operating profit came in at 130 million euros, against a loss in 2012 of 300 million. Full year revenue was up 2.3 percent and the firm cut net debt by 618 million euros. The firm said it was on track to reduce net debt towards the 2015 target of 4.5 billion euros.

It confirmed its 2014 outlook, with EBITDA expected around 2.5 billion euros.

Sia Kambou | AFP | Getty Images

CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the airline's recovery was "perfectly on track" and plans to reduce debt were "perfectly maintained."

"We see the economic conditions as slightly better, the recession, at least in the euro zone, is over. There is an economic recovery in the U.S. and Asia is doing quite well, there are some question elsewhere but as a whole it should be a more positive year than 2012 and 2013," he told CNBC.

Air France-KLM's French arm is in the middle of a broad restructuring plan, which aims to improve profitability 20 percent. The program includes thousands of job cuts as the company tries to cut the chronic losses of its medium-haul and cargo businesses.

The airline, part of the Air France KLM group, announced plans to cut 5,100 jobs from its 69,000-strong workforce as part of a turnaround plan last year and will cut a further 2,800 jobs through voluntary redundancy.

"It's an enormous plan," said de Juniac. We aim to invest the little money we have on the product and the service to dramatically improve our service," he added.

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