In the 3Q14, we recorded operating income (EBIT) of R$ 152 million, an expansion of R$ 115 million when compared to the same period last year, while the EBIT margin moved up 4.5 percentage points registering 6.2%. This was the seventh consecutive quarterly improvement in this indicator, reflecting the continuity and consistent delivery on our results.
Net revenue in the last 12 months totaled R$ 10 billion, a new record, even in a scenario of soft economic growth. GOL’s demand for seats (RPK) grew by 8.3% year over year in the first nine months, representing 53% of the industry’s growth, which reflects the greater attractiveness of our products and services. Domestic supply, however, fell by 2.9%, demonstrating the rationalization strategy that the Company took in place since April 2012. From January to September, 2014, we were the market leader in terms of passengers boarded in the domestic market, reaching the record mark of 27.5 million.
In order to offer greater connectivity, we launched during this quarter two new regional destinations on the domestic market, Carajás and Altamira (Pará), as well as new international flights to Santiago (Chile) from Guarulhos (São Paulo), Miami from Campinas, and to Punta Cana from Guarulhos (São Paulo), Confins (Minas Gerais) and Brasília. In this way, we are the Brazilian airline with the greater supply to the Caribbean, with 78 weekly flights.
The strategy of increasing our international presence has been further reinforced by the expansion of our alliances. This has also strengthened revenue in other currencies, which accounted for 11% of our total revenue in the last 12 months. We implemented a two-way codeshare partnership with Aerolineas Argentinas, allowing us to sell its tickets on our website. We will shortly begin offering the same facility for AirFrance-KLM flights.
In order to ensure an even better flying experience, we extended our GOL+ Conforto seating to our entire domestic route network, with an even greater reclining angle and even more distance between seats. Currently, 94% of our fleet is configured as GOL+ and, by the end of the year, 100% of our fleet will have this configuration. In the third quarter, we also launched an exclusive service in Brazil, our express bag drop service at Congonhas airport. With this new service, the customers can complete one more check-in stage at the self-service totems, labeling and weighing their own baggage, as well as paying for any excess. This is one more simple and intelligent innovation providing our passengers with even greater control and visibility throughout the entire process, since the ticket purchase to the flight.
These new facilities have strengthened our capacity to ensure an even better flying experience for leisure passengers, and to be more attractive to the corporate client. Even in the midst of a challenging economic scenario in Brazil, resulting in reduced demand from corporate customers, GOL was the airline company leader in tickets issued for the corporate segment, according to Abracorp (Brazilian Travel Agents’ Association).
Continuing with our measures to strength our balance sheet, we concluded two senior notes tender offers totaling US$ 411 million. Also, we concluded a senior notes issuance this quarter, totaling US$ 325 million at 8.875% p.a. due on 2022. These actions aim to optimize the debt profile, avoiding major amortization pressure in the next three years and reduce the financial cost. We closed the quarter with R$ 2.7 billion in cash position, equivalent to 27% of revenue in the last 12 months, which is essential to pass through periods of high market volatility. The financial leverage ratio (adjusted gross debt/EBITDAR) stood at 6.3x, 4.6 points down on 3Q13.
I would like to thank our customers for their loyalty, our Team of Eagles for their commitment and investors for their confidence posted on the Company. We celebrated on September 8, 2014 in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) the 10-year listing of GOL, in which we reiterated our commitment to the transparency and communication with our shareholders, which reinforces our vision of being the best company to fly with, work for and invest in.
Paulo Sérgio Kakinoff
CEO of GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A.
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Gol’s Boeing 737-7Q8 PR-GIL (msn 30635) approaches the runway at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).
Gol aircraft slide show: