Philip­pine Air­lines par­ent's half-year profit soars

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

MANILA: Philip­pine Air­lines' par­ent com­pany saw its first-half profit soar nearly ten-fold, boosted by strong de­mand dur­ing the peak sum­mer months, the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change said Tues­day. In­terim net in­come for Jan­uary to June rose to 5.8 bil­lion pe­sos ($127 mil­lion) from 560 mil­lion pe­sos dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, PAL Hold­ings said in an ex­change fil­ing Tues­day.

Rev­enues in­creased to 55.9 bil­lion pe­sos from 48.9 bil­lion pe­sos, with pas­sen­ger rev­enues up 15 per­cent to 47.1 bil­lion pe­sos, it added. "These re­sults should put PAL back on the radar screens of in­vestors," First Grade Hold­ings man­ag­ing di­rec­tor As­tro del Castillo told AFP. The com­pany re­turned to prof­itabil­ity in 2014 for the first time in three years, with a net in­come of 129.74 mil­lion pe­sos. Asia's first air­line has strug­gled in re­cent years as it has faced in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from bud­get car­ri­ers, high fuel prices and a labour strike. The com­pany has em­barked on a $7-bil­lion re­fleet­ing pro­gram, in­volv­ing over 50 new, more fuel-ef­fi­cient Air­bus jets to re­place its age­ing fleet. It is also seek­ing a new in­vestor to help fund its ex­pan­sion plans. The air­line re­opened its New York route ear­lier this year af­ter the United States lifted safety re­stric­tions on Philip­pine car­ri­ers in a bid to ex­pand its prof­its. It also an­nounced plans to fly to Los An­ge­les from Cebu, its num­ber-two city, in March next year, bring­ing PAL's to­tal weekly flights to the United States to 38.

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