Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Evergreen expects good yearly sales

GLOBAL RECOVERY:EVA Airways said passenger traffic and aggregate sales would both grow 6 percent this year, as demand in the region increases and oil prices fall

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Evergreen Group (長榮集團) yesterday said it is upbeat about sales growth this year as oil prices fall, the US and China make progress to resolve their trade dispute and the global economy recovers.

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), the group’s airline, said that a global economic slowdown and high oil prices dragged on performance last year, but it still managed to keep profits rising.

The carrier reported revenue of NT$179.9 billion (US$5.82 billion) for the whole of last year, up 9.99 percent from a year earlier.

For the first two months of this year, the company reported NT$29.51 billion in revenue, a 6.63 percent annual increase.

Passenger traffic is forecast to grow 6 percent annually this year, with demand especially high in the Asia-Pacific region, explaining why many airlines bought aircraft this year, EVA Airways chairman Steve Lin (林寶水) told a media briefing in Taipei, citing the International Air Transport Association.

With oil prices forecast to decline this year, the company expects aggregate sales to advance at least 6 percent year-on-year, Lin said.

The firm would add six Boeing 787 planes to expand capacity, and plans to add more routes and flights between Taiwan and Japan, Lin said, adding that it would also establish new long-haul flights if approved by the government.

However, growth in the firm’s cargo business is to slow to between 2 percent and 3 percent this year due to uncertainties, EVA Airways said.

It also plans to add five new Boeing 777 freighters to replace older 747s, it said.

Meanwhile, Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the group’s shipping arm, said this year would be full of challenges and opportunities, while a new low sulfur rule to go into effect next year is the biggest challenge, chairman Anchor Chang (張正鏞) said.

“We will have to pay more to improve our facilities to comply with sulfur fuel rules,” Chang said.

The firm must decommission more aged vessels due to the rules, but upgrading efforts would also help improve efficiency, meet environmental requirements and reduce operating costs, Chang said.

The shipping firm reported revenue of NT$169.18 billion for the whole of last year, up 12.44 percent year-on-year.

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