Singapore Airlines' net profit in the third quarter plunged 35.6 percent to $177.2 million due largely to a $79 million write-down in Tigerair. The airline, which is a bellwether for the Southeast Asian aviation sector, said operating profit rose a marginal 1.7 percent on the back of growth from cargo and mail volumes even as fuel expenses edged down. Operating profit for the three months ended December 31 stood at S$293 million, up by S$5 million up from the same quarter in the previous year.
Earnings per share (EPS) for the third quarter was marked at 15 cents, down from 23.6 cents a year earlier.
Revenues for the whole group slipped 2.5 percent to $3.84 billion on account of lower passenger numbers. SAI said it expects the new year to be tough as global economic conditions remained worrisome and growth prospects less than optimistic.
"2017 is expected to be another challenging year amid tepid global economic conditions and geopolitical concerns, alongside other market headwinds such as overcapacity and aggressive pricing by competitors. Loads and yields for both the passenger and cargo businesses are projected to remain under pressure," SIA said.
Fuel prices have started edging up after the OPEC cartel made a breakthrough in arresting the crude price tumble.
However, SIA noted that it's adding up on the new Airbus 350-900 aircraft which are more fuel efficient. Singapore Airlines has ordered 67 of these aircraft and the first deliveries took place last year.