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SIA swings into the black with Q4 net profit of S$181.8 million

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) pulled itself out of the red by reporting a net profit of S$181.8 million for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of S$138.3 million previously.

The bottom line was lifted partly by stronger passenger and cargo revenues. The corresponding quarter in FY2016/2017 had also been weighed down by SIA Cargo's S$132 million provision for competition-related fines.

Revenue for the quarter expanded 8.2 per cent year-on-year to some S$4.02 billion, while earnings per share clocked 15.4 Singapore cents, compared to a loss per share of 11.7 Singapore cents previously. While expenditure edged up 3.2 per cent to S$3.8 billion, operating profit was nonetheless significantly higher at S$214.5 million, versus S$27.6 million a year ago.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 30 Singapore cents per share, up from 11 Singapore cents per share previously. The dividend will be paid out on Aug 15.

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For the full year, net profit surged to S$892.9 million, up from S$360.4 million in the previous fiscal year. Revenue increased 6.3 per cent to S$15.81 billion on the back of higher revenue contributions from all its business segments.

While there are stronger advance passenger bookings for the coming months and yields continue to stabilise, competition remains in key markets, as does cost pressures, the airline group said.

"Fuel prices have been trending higher, and volatility is expected to persist in the months ahead. The overall demand outlook for cargo remains moderately positive, but is subject to geopolitical uncertainties which may have implications on global trade," SIA highlighted.

It went on to say that the first year of its three-year transformation programme has shown "good progress". It added: "The next two years of the programme will further build on initiatives around enhancements to the customer experience, revenue growth and improvements in operational efficiency." In particular, it will leverage on its digital innovation efforts to create greater value for customers and businesses.

The counter closed at S$11.14 on Thursday, up 14 Singapore cents, before the airline group released its results.

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