March 23, 2005 10:01 ET

Strong Results by Reinvigorated SITA Indicate Brightening Future for Air Transport Industry



MARCH 23, 2005 - 10:01 ET

Strong Results by Reinvigorated SITA Indicate
Brightening Future for Air Transport Industry

LONDON--(CCNMatthews - Mar 23, 2005) -

SITA, the world's leading supplier of information technology and
telecommunications services to the air transport industry, today
announced strong results for 2004, following a successful restructuring
of the company since 2003 with the group as a whole posting combined
revenues of US$1.58 billion, well above budget.

SITA's robust results were achieved by its two operating entities - SITA
SC and SITA INC. SITA SC, a cooperative, provides communications
services to the world's airlines who as customers also own SITA SC. SITA
INC (Information Networking Computing) provides IT solutions for the
management of passengers, cargo, aircraft communications and airport

SITA SC 2004 revenues came it at US$940 million. The result reflects of
SITA SC's continued success in migrating the air transport industry from
'legacy networks' to Internet Protocol (IP) - based networks. SITA SC
has reduced the industry's overall network costs by about US$80 million
in price reductions, across both legacy and IP connections. Total sales
performance as measured by total contract value reached US$317m.

SITA INC recorded revenues for the year of US$642 million, ahead of
target. The company also exceeded budget for pre-tax profits, improved
free cash-flow and comfortably met budget for return on investment.
Total contract value stood at US$792 million, 82 percent above 2003.

The strong performance from both businesses is an indication of SITA's
success in helping the air transport industry to drive down its
operational costs through business simplification and through savings on
their communications systems and IT infrastructure and systems.

Paul Coby, Chairman of SITA, said:

"Three things matter to the Air Transport Industry (ATI) these days -
cost, cost and cost!"

He continued:

"The best and fastest way to cut costs is to simplify your business and
the smart use of technology is a fantastic driver of business
simplification and process standardisation. SITA as the ATI's own
provider of telecommunications and IT solutions, knows what our industry
needs, and is committed to providing it at an economical cost."

Coby said:

"In 2004, SITA made strong progress in all areas and really turned the
corner. Both of our businesses did exceptionally well.

Our communications services unit, SITA SC, saved the industry US$80m in
price reductions, adapted its offering to better meet the needs of
airlines and started new services such as consulting and network
integration. This led to new business of US$109 million - 28% over
budget. This shows the health of our business model. SITA's network
traffic grew by over 20% in 2004, which is an indication of the
returning strength of the Air Transport Industry."

Coby continued:

"For SITA INC the year was marked by three exciting new ventures. First,
the OnAir venture launched with Airbus will make mobile phone use a
reality on aircraft soon. Second, we are transforming the air cargo
business through the development of next generation IT solutions in
partnership with Europe's largest all-cargo airline, Cargolux. Through
the merger of SITA and Cargolux subsidiaries, we have created the
world's only company dedicated to providing IT solutions for the air
cargo industry. Third, partnering with Siemens, we are turning the
mobile phone into an essential tool for passengers wishing to check-in

"As I said, cost reduction is driven by simplification which is driven
by technology. So we are ready to simplify passengers' journeys through
our e-ticketing, booking and self-service kiosks."

"I believe that SITA is now a key enabler of global recovery for the air
transport industry."

Coby concluded: "We are a 55 year old organisation, written off by many
just a few years ago. We are now playing a key role in our industry's
drive to cost driven simplicity. SITA is turning the corner, and so is
our industry."

Peter Buecking, President of SITA, added:

"SITA's business is about simplifying operations, not just for the sake
of doing so, but because with simplification comes reduced cost,
increased efficiency and increased profitability.

"Simplification, with all its benefits, has never been needed more than
at a time when high demand, increased traffic, low cost point-to-point
travel and high oil prices combine to put huge financial pressures on
the industry.

"Our strong operational performance in 2004 show that SITA is playing a
key role in improving the industry's financial health."

Hans-Peter Kohlhammer, Director General of SITA SC, commented:

"SITA SC has ended 2004 in a position of financial strength, having
gained a record amount of new business. Our customer retention rate
remains a phenomenal 95 percent. We are in a stronger market position
and we are focusing on expanding our community role to provide new
services which help the industry reduce costs today, and help build
tomorrow's future. SITA SC is transforming itself into to a
communication services integrator, making dramatic progress in enhancing
the value we provide to the air transport industry that created us and
whom we serve with dedication."

After his first full year as managing director of SITA INC, Francesco
Violante said: "Business volumes in 2004 showed remarkable double-digit
growth in key areas including passenger boarded volumes of 105 million,
up 18%; ACARS traffic, up 16%; and Cargo Air Way Bills, up 20%. We have
re-organised and established a momentum for continued growth in both
existing and new markets."

Paul Coby concluded by paying tribute to the SITA Executive Committee -
Peter Buecking, Hans-Peter Kohlhammer and Francesco Violante - and the
dedication and commitment of everyone in SITA. He added:

"SITA has now turned the corner and is on the way up."

Notes for Editors

-- SITA SC's revenues for 2004 stand at US$940 million. It has booked
US$ 109 million of new business, 28% over target.

-- SITA INC's revenue in 2004 was US$642. Total contract value stood at
US$792 million, 82 percent above 2003.

-- 105 million passengers were booked using SITA applications and
common use facilities.

For further information (not for publication) contact:


SITA SC, a not-for-profit cooperative, is the world's leading provider
of network and communications solutions to the air transport industry
and to international organizations. As the industry's global network
provider, SITA SC delivers innovative community solutions and value
added services over the world's most extensive communications network to
offer its customers maximum reach, service and cost effectiveness. SITA
SC is registered in Brussels, Belgium.


SITA INC (Information Networking Computing) is the world's leading
provider of air transport focused applications, communications and IT
infrastructure, enabling its customers to realize greater operational
efficiencies and enhanced profitability. Building on a heritage of
innovation, the company provides services to air transport customers and
to related industries, as well as government authorities, offering a
unique portfolio of solutions. SITA INC is registered in Amsterdam, The

Further information can be found at


Contact Information