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SIA's Q1 profit soars 181.4% on lower fuel prices, divestment gains

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LOWER fuel prices and divestment gains lifted results for Singapore Airlines (SIA) in its first quarter.

LOWER fuel prices and divestment gains lifted results for Singapore Airlines (SIA) in its first quarter.

Net profit for the aviation group leapt 181.4 per cent to S$256.6 million from the previous year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday evening after trading ended.

For the three months ended June 30, revenue slid 2.1 per cent to S$3.65 billion from the year-ago period. The decline in revenue was due partly to lower revenue from the parent airline company. This was somewhat compensated by an improved performance from Scoot and SilkAir on the back of growth in operations.

The fall in expenditure outpaced the fall in revenue. Expenditure declined S$161 million (-4.4 per cent) to S$3.5 billion.

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Net fuel costs fell S$357 million as a result of lower fuel prices and smaller losses from hedging. Average jet fuel price fell by 28 per cent, or S$287 million, while a narrower hedging loss of S$122 million was recorded.

The strengthening US dollar and capacity expansion at SilkAir and Scoot eroded some of these gains, however.

On top of better operational performance, the group also saw a S$133 million increase in non-operational income. This was mainly due to SIA Engineering's gain on divestment of its 10 per cent stake in Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Ltd (HAESL), which was valued at about S$142 million.

Special dividends from HAESL also lifted income. This came from the sale of HAESL's 20 per cent stake in Singapore Aero Engine Services Ltd, and was valued at about S$26 million.

Q1 earnings per share leapt to 21.7 Singapore cents from 7.8 Singapore cents in the preceding year.

Net asset value per share went up to 11.44 Singapore cents as at June 30, from 10.96 Singapore cents as at three months ago.

SIA shares closed 8 Singapore cents higher at S$11.20 apiece on Thursday.