Philip­pine Air­lines par­ent’s profit soars

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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 (US$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 US$ 7- bil­lion re- fleet­ing 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 re- stric­tions 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.

Del Castillo said the com­pany was ex­pected to re­main prof­itable thanks to ro­bust de­mand and fall­ing oil prices, although the re­sults failed to cheer in­vestors.

PAL Hold­ings shares were down 1.52 per­cent at 5.20 pe­sos at noon in Manila, com­pared to a 0.28 per­cent rise in the bench­mark Philip­pine Stock Ex­change In­dex.

The car­rier is con­trolled by Chi­nese-Filipino bil­lion­aire Lu­cio Tan — the coun­try’s fifth-rich­est man, ac­cord­ing to Forbes Mag­a­zine.

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