Philippine Airlines parent's half-year profit soars
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines' parent company saw its first-half profit soar nearly 10-fold, boosted by strong demand during the peak summer months, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said Tuesday, August 11.
Interim net income for January to June rose to P5.8 billion ($126.20 million) from P560 million ($12.18 million) during the same period last year, PAL Holdings said in an exchange filing Tuesday.
Revenues increased to P55.9 billion ($1.22 billion) from P48.9 billion ($1.06 billion), with passenger revenues up 15% to P47.1 billion ($1.02 billion), it added.
"These results should put PAL back on the radar screens of investors," First Grade Holdings managing director Astro del Castillo told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Back to profitability
PAL returned to profitability in 2014 for the first time in 3 years, with a net income of P129.74 million ($2.82 million).
Asia's first airline has struggled in recent years as it has faced increased competition from budget carriers, high fuel prices, and a labor strike.
The company has embarked on a $7-billion re-fleeting program, involving over 50 new, more fuel-efficient Airbus jets to replace its aging fleet. It is also seeking a new investor to help fund its expansion plans.
The airline reopened its New York route earlier this year after the US lifted safety restrictions on Philippine carriers in a bid to expand its profits.
It also announced plans to fly to Los Angeles from Cebu, its no. 2 city, in March next year, bringing PAL's total weekly flights to the US to 38.
Del Castillo said the company was expected to remain profitable, thanks to robust demand and falling oil prices, although the results failed to cheer investors.
PAL Holdings shares were down 1.52%% at P5.20 at Tuesday noon in Manila, compared to a 0.28% rise in the benchmark PSE Index.
The carrier is controlled by Chinese-Filipino billionaire Lucio Tan – the country's fifth-richest man, according to Forbes magazine. – Rappler.com
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