ACE Aviation profit jumps on gains from asset sales

Fri Aug 8, 2008 8:49am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Profit at ACE Aviation Holdings Inc, parent company of Air Canada, rose sharply in the second quarter due to pretax gains from the sale of its remaining holdings in its Jazz and Aeroplan units

ACE said on Friday it earned C$830 million ($783 million), or C$10.76 a share, in the quarter, up from C$118 million, or 98 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Results included pretax gains of C$908 million from the sale of Jazz Air LP and Groupe Aeroplan Inc, the company said.

ACE has a 75 percent interest in Air Canada and a 23 percent interest in aircraft maintenance and repair firm ACTS. ACE has been evaluating the best way to part with the Air Canada stake as a way to end the holding company structure it set up in 2004 as part of the airline's bankruptcy protection proceedings.

However, the plans have been muddied by the airline industry's weak financial environment amid sky-high fuel prices and the carrier's depressed stock price.

ACE revenues were C$2.78 billion in the quarter, up from C$2.66 billion.

($1=$1.06 Canadian)

(Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway)