EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) shares yesterday plunged 2.08 percent after the firm reported widened losses of NT$2.19 billion (US$78.24 million) in the first quarter as passenger revenue plummeted 91 percent from a year earlier amid COVID-19 pandemic border controls.
The quarterly loss widened from a net loss of NT$1.22 billion in the first quarter last year, with passenger ticket sales higher last year, as operations were largely normal in January, before restrictions were imposed, company data showed.
The airline unit of Evergreen Group (長榮集團) reported a profit in the fourth quarter last year thanks to soaring cargo revenue, but returned to the red last quarter, with gains in cargo revenue unable to offset a plunge in passenger sales, the data showed.
Losses totaled NT$0.45 per share, the data showed.
Passenger revenue totaled NT$1.67 billion for the first three months of this year, down NT$16.9 billion from a year earlier, with passenger numbers sinking 96.6 percent, EVA Airways said.
Cargo revenue advanced 138.11 percent year-on-year to NT$15.18 billion in the January-to-March period, an annual rise of NT$8.8 billion, on the back of rising demand for air cargo and comparatively high freight rates, the company said.
China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 華航) has not announced its financial reports for the first quarter, but it is expected that CAL would have a better performance, as it could generate more cargo revenue with 18 cargo jets compared with EVA’s fleet of five.
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the sea shipping unit of Evergreen Group, reported net profit of NT$13.51 billion for March, up 2,144 percent from a year earlier as its revenue expanded 134 percent thanks to strong freight rates.
Earnings per share were NT$2.36, Evergreen Marine said.
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