UPDATE 2-Kenya Airways sees peace, cheaper oil restoring profit

vendredi 14 juin 2013 11h40

* Posts loss for second time since listing in 1996

* Sees African routes lifting business

* Shares fall 6 percent (Adds company, shareholder comments, shares, background)

By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI, June 14 (Reuters) - Peaceful elections, lower oil prices and the easing of tensions in neighbouring Somalia should help Kenya Airways recover from a tough two years that saw it swing to a pretax loss in the year ended March, it said on Friday.

The airline, which is 26.73 percent owned by Air France KLM , reported a pretax loss of 10.83 billion shillings ($126.8 million) for the period. That followed a 57 percent drop in pretax profit the previous year.

Management blamed the festering euro zone debt crisis, fears of unrest during Kenya's March presidential election, and a string of gun and grenade attacks on Kenyan soil following its foray into Somalia in pursuit of al Shabaab militants.

"Somalia is finally settling down and we had a peaceful election so on the combination of those two things, we expect the travel advisories that we suffered last year will not be evident this year," said finance director Alex Mbugua, referring to some foreign countries that had advised their citizens against travelling to Kenya due to security concerns.

Mbugua also cited the lower price of fuel, at $95 per barrel since April, and a pick-up in passenger and cargo volumes in the first months of this financial year.   Suite...