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Philippine Airlines parent says back in black
[MANILA] Philippine Airlines' parent firm said it had returned to profitability, the first time in three years either entity reported being in the black for an entire year.
In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, PAL Holdings reported an after-tax net profit of 129.74 million pesos (US$2.93 million) in its fiscal year to December 31.
This was a turnaround from a net loss of 11.85 billion pesos in its previous fiscal year.
It did not say how the turnaround was achieved, disclosing only that gross revenue nearly doubled to 101.50 billion pesos.
The airline, which is not listed, last reported a profit for the entire year in its fiscal year to March 31, 2011, when it earned US$72.5 million.
However, it promptly sank back into the red in the next three months, forcing it to cut 12 per cent of international flights, 30 per cent of domestic flights and lay off nearly 40 per cent of its staff to cut costs.
PAL's fortunes turned last year after the United States lifted aviation safety restrictions on Philippine carriers.
This allowed the airline to deploy a fleet of newly-acquired Boeing 777 jets for long-haul flights to the United States. PAL resumed flights to New York last month.
The airline also announced the purchase of two Airbus jets last month for regional flights, on top of the 54 Airbus planes it had ordered in a 2012 re-fleeting programme worth more than US$7 billion.
PAL Holdings which derives most of its income from the airline's operations, had also reported a net loss of 3.6 billion pesos in the 12 months to March 31, 2013.
PAL, through PAL Holdings, is controlled by Chinese-Filipino billionaire Lucio Tan, who is the country's fourth-wealthiest man according to Forbes.com magazine.