Nation’s airlines post strong results as sector recovers

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 01, 2012 - Page 14

TransAsia Airways Corp (TNA, 復興航空), which focuses on regional passenger routes in Asia, yesterday posted the highest earnings per share (EPS) for the third quarter among the nation’s three listed airlines.

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s two largest carriers, also said they returned to the black in the first nine months of the year on the back of strong seasonal passenger demand in the third quarter.

TNA posted a net profit of NT$153.21 million (US$5.23 million), or EPS of NT$0.28, in the first nine months of the year, aided by earnings of NT$107 million, or NT$0.19 per share, in the third quarter, the company said in a press release.

Strong sales from the carrier’s newly launched six regular routes to Japan helped drive up profitability in the third quarter — the traditional strong season for passenger business, the press release said.

In the meantime, strong passenger business led CAL and EVA to report their highest quarterly earnings this year during the July-to-September period.

CAL posted NT$1.42 billion, or NT$0.31 per share, in net profits for the third quarter, stronger than the NT$875.65 million, or NT$0.22 per share, recorded during the same period last year, the company said in its stock exchange filing on Tuesday.

The profit-making third quarter helped the carrier make up for the NT$1.04 billion in net losses recorded in the first half of this year and post a net profit of NT$384.31 million, or NT$0.08 per share, in the first nine months of the year.

The NT$384.31 million in earnings represented a nearly 80 percent growth from the same period last year.

EVA’s net profit totaled NT$1.56 billion, or NT$0.48 per share, in the third quarter, also stronger than the NT$1.26 billion net earnings, or EPS of NT$0.39 per share, posted in the third quarter last year, the company’s stock exchange filing showed on Friday last week.

The carrier posted profits of NT$673.69 million, or NT$0.21 per share, in the first nine months of the year, from a net loss of NT$881 million recorded in the first half of this year, statistics showed.

However, the profit was lower than the NT$1.59 billion the company earned in the first three quarters of last year.

For the fourth quarter, CAL president Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥) said last week that the movement of global oil prices and performance of the cargo industry remained the greatest areas of uncertainty for the sector’s potential profitability.