Singapore Airlines has reported a 145% jump in net profit to $364 million in Q1, led by record passenger traffic and a one-off property gain, even as higher fuel costs dented earnings.
This is SIA’s first profit increase in six quarters.
The national flag carrier also booked its largest ever first quarter group revenues of S$3.421 billion, SIA said in a statement.
During the quarter, SIA carried 4.4 million passengers, a rise of 9.4 per cent year-on-year, a result which, in outpacing the 3.3 per cent increase in the firm’s available seat kilometers, delivered a 4.3 per cent improvement in SIA’s passenger load factor.
The sale of SIA Building in Singapore added S$223.3 million to the company’s bottom line. Even without this one-off gain the airline’s net profit surged more than S$117 million from the S$234.6 million recorded in the first quarter of 2005 to almost S$352 million.
SIA’s strong results come despite skyrocketing oil prices which have seen the average cost of jet fuel surge to US$87 per barrel during the quarter, up from US$72 per barrel in the previous corresponding period.
Fuel accounted for 38.9 per cent of SIA’s expenditures, with the airline spending S$1.223 billion on the item in the quarter, an increase of 6.9 per cent from the S$892 million spent in the first quarter of 2005.
SIA’s subsidiaries recorded mixed results. Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) posted a 9.5 per cent dive in operating profits to S$48 million, while SIA Engineering recorded a tiny 0.3 per cent rise in operating profits to S$33 million.
The excellent first quarter results appear to vindicate SIA’s recent expansionary moves, with the airline inking a US$7.5 billion order for 20 new Airbus A350 EWB-900s and nine additional Airbus A380-800s on July 21.
Buoyed by the latest set of figures, SIA has declared a “broadly positive” outlook for air travel for the remainder of the financial year, supported by favourable economic conditions in the Asia Pacific and Europe.
Singapore Airlrines has also been nominated this year for a
World Travel Award as Asia’s Leading Airline.