CAL boss upbeat on cargo recovery

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Nov 14, 2013 - Page 13

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) chairman Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥) yesterday offered an upbeat business outlook for this quarter on recovery in the cargo sector, after the company returned to the black last quarter.

Net profit was NT$1.43 billion (US$48.23 million), or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.28, in the July-to-September period, the nation’s largest carrier said in a stock exchange filing.

The third-quarter figure marked the highest level since the third quarter of 2010 and compared with a net loss of NT$116.23 million, or NT$0.03 per share, in the second quarter.

In the first three quarters of the year, CAL report a net profit of NT$206.27 million, or EPS of NT$0.04.

“We are not satisfied with the results,” Sun told reporters before a CAL aircraft with the new tourism-themed livery made its inaugural flight from Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) to Tokyo’s Haneda airport yesterday.

Despite a steady growth in passenger business this year, Sun said sluggish demand in the cargo sector limited the company’s overall profitability in the first three quarters.

However, recent signs of recovery in the cargo sector, driven by the launch of new electronics products, and steady global aviation fuel prices — which have stayed between US$120 and US$125 per barrel lately — will benefit the company’s sales and earnings this quarter, he added.

EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest carrier, also swung into profit last quarter.

EVA Airways’ profit for last quarter hit its strongest quarterly level since the third quarter in 2010 at NT$1.77 billion, or EPS of NT$0.54, the company said in a press release.

For the first nine months, net income totaled NT$675.09 million, or NT$0.21 per share, making it the most profitable carrier among the nation’s three listed airlines.

TransAsia Airways Corp’s (TNA, 復興航空) net income for last quarter also reached a record level of NT$103.67 million, or NT$0.19 per share, but the company remained in the red as of the end of the third quarter with a net loss of NT$82.63 million, or NT$0.15 per share.

In comparison, the company made a net profit of NT$125.68 million, or NT$0.23 per share, in the same period last year.