March 14, 2013 / 12:47 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Higher prices to boost Transat's second-quarter results

* First-quarter loss/share C$0.39 versus C$0.77 last year

* First-quarter revenue falls 3 percent

March 14 (Reuters) - Canadian travel operator Transat AT Inc said selling prices this quarter have been higher than a year earlier and it expects to report better results than last year.

Transat’s net loss narrowed to C$15.1 million, or 39 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter from C$29.5 million, or 77 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The company, which offers holiday travel services in package and air-only formats, reported an adjusted after-tax loss of 56 Canadian cents per share for the three months ended Jan. 31.

Analysts on average expected a loss of 45 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 3 percent to C$805.7 million. The number of travelers fell nearly 13 percent as the company cut capacity.

Transat, which competes with WestJet Airlines’ WestJet Vacations and Air Canada’s Air Canada Vacations, said second-quarter selling prices were higher than last year in most of its markets.

Capacity on its sun destination market was around 10 percent lower in the quarter than last year. Load factor, or turnout, was also poorer.

Sun destinations such as Roatan in Honduras, Huatulco in Mexico and Grenada in south-eastern Caribbean Sea, contribute a significant part of the company’s winter business.

Capacity on the transatlantic market was down 18 percent.

Transat’s Class B shares closed at C$6.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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