Friday, February 10, 2012

SINGAPORE Airlines quarterly profit declines 53pc to US$108 million


SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) posted a 53 per cent fourth quarter net profit loss to S$135.2 million (US$108 million) year on year, drawn on revenues of S$3.88 billion which changed little.

Controlled by state investor Temasek Holdings, Singapore Airlines, the world's second largest airline, attributed the decline to the harsh global economic environment, decreasing demand in passenger and cargo markets as well as high fuel prices. Its fuel bill soared 33 per cent in the quarter from a year ago, the company said.

Its profit was lower than the average forecast of S$162.5 million from four analysts polled by Reuters. This is the fourth straight quarter that the airline's profit has underperformed analysts' expectations.

Singapore Airlines said weakness in both passenger and cargo sectors would persist. "Forward bookings continue to show signs of weakness in the final quarter of the financial year, due to uncertainty in the global economy and the protracted Eurozone debt crisis," the airline said in a statement.

"Passenger yields are expected to remain under pressure while cargo yields are expected to continue to decline," it said, adding that slack air cargo market is likely to continue due to soft demand in major developed countries.

To expand, the airline plans to commence its own long-haul budget airline, Scoot, by mid-2012, reported the USA Today, saying that this would help the Singapore Airlines group, including its regional unit, SilkAir, and its short-haul budget affiliate Tiger Airways (with a 33 per cent stake), to run against the odds in 2012.

Late last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reduced its forecast for airline industry profits by a quarter to $3.5 billion for 2012, adding that IATA warned the industry's losses would increase to an US$8.3 billion if Europe's debt crisis deepens and provokes a new financial crisis. Singapore Airlines quarterly profit declines 53pc to US$108 million

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