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Copa: Another Record Year

Panama’s Copa set a new record in 2008 and expects another good year, albeit with challenges in demand.


BY JOACHIM BAMRUD

Pedro Heilbron, the CEO of Panama-based Copa Airlines, is cautiously optimistic about the outlook this year.  “Our outlook for 2009 is cautiously optimistic,” he says.  “Like all carriers, we are seeing challenges in demand, but we are well-positioned and prepared.”


Independent analysts agree.  Copa has controlled costs,” says Bob Booth, Chairman of aviation consultancy AvGroup, Inc. “It has the best profit margin in the Americas and possibly in the world, with a 17 percent margin in 2008.”

 

Copa retains its dominant position among Americas-based carriers, Citibank analyst Stephen Trent said in a recent research report. “We continue to identify Copa as our top pick among the [Citibank]-covered Latin America airlines.”

 

Citibank advises Buy on Copa stock, while warning of medium risk. In contrast, it recommends Hold on the stocks of Chilean carrier LAN, with high risk.  Unlike LAN, Copa has minimal revenue from cargo – an advantage in a year where trade is expected to fall.

 

Citibank expects Copa to boost its net income this year by 6.6 percent to ...

 


Keywords: Aero Republica, Brazil, Venezuela

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