Singapore Airlines (SIA) posted a profit of S$893 million in the financial year ended March 31 — the highest since 2011, and a 148-per-cent increase from a year ago.
The airline more than doubled its net profit for its 2017/18 fiscal year, as robust revenue growth managed to offset continued yield weakness and rising fuel costs. SIA said the performance was largely attributed to a higher operating profit and an impairment of the Tigerair brand and trademarks last year, among other factors.
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 company announced a final dividend of 30 cents per share for the financial year, on top of the interim dividend of 10 cents per share paid to shareholders in December. The dividend will be paid out on Aug 15.
The group’s parent airline saw an increase of S$317 million in operating profit to S$703 million from a year ago, while total revenue increased S$490 million, driven partly by a S$210 million improvement in passenger flown revenue.
Scoot’s operating profit increased by S$10 million for the financial year, with total revenue up 13.9 per cent, as passenger carriage rose.
Meanwhile, SilkAir’s operating profit fell by S$58 million, due to higher spending which outpaced revenue gains. Total revenue rose by 3 per cent, led by higher passenger carriage.
“The parent airline company’s performance was boosted by early results from the transformation initiatives,” SIA said. Examples include the implementation of a new revenue management system, a new airfare pricing structure and the establishment of a centralised pricing unit.
The company is one year into a three-year transformation programme. The next two years will involve initiatives to enhance the customer experience, grow revenue and improve operational efficiency, it said.
Going forward, SIA noted that intense competition in key operating markets and cost pressures remain. Fuel prices have been “trending higher” and “volatility is expected to persist in the months ahead”, the group said.
The overall demand outlook for cargo remains moderately positive but is “subject to geopolitical uncertainties which may have implications on global trade,” it added.