Wed, Nov 01, 2006 - Page 12 News List

High fuel costs hit carriers' bottom lines

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

China Airlines Ltd (華航), the nation's largest carrier, reported that earnings for the first nine months of the year fell by 75.7 percent from the same period last year, citing high fuel costs.

Net income totaled NT$245.04 million (US$7.37 million), or NT$0.07 per share, for the first three quarters ending Sept. 30, on sales of NT$88.85 billion, according to the company's filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

The earnings were down from NT$1.01 billion, or NT$1.27 per share, from a year ago.

Rival EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) saw net loss accumulate to NT$2.32 billion, or NT$0.63 per share in the red, during the January to September period, the carrier said in a filing with the stock exchange yesterday.

That compared with a net profit of NT$1.37 billion in the previous period.

Sales for the first nine months of the nation's second-largest carrier amounted to NT$69.95 billion.

The two carriers are expected to see better business in the current quarter given softening oil prices.

But EVA president Peter Chen (陳欣德) said on Oct. 20 that the price fall in the last quarter may not help turn around EVA's loss for the first three quarters.

The jet fuel price for Taiwanese carriers is calculated by average oil prices in Singapore for the previous month, so the carriers were still paying for their fuel on last month's prices, Chen said.

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