Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Cebu Pacific turns around, posts P1.82b 1st half profit

Roderick T de la Cruz
Manila Standard

BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific returned to profitability this year, with a net income of P1.82 billion in the year to June after posting a net loss of P15.66 million a year ago, its parent firm said yesterday.

JG Summit Holdings Inc. said Cebu Pacific’s gross revenue jumped 21.3 percent to P11.39 billion as a result of its adding routes and increasing flight frequencies.

The airline added flight capacity following its taking delivery of more Airbus A320 and ATR72-500 aircraft in recent months, JG Summit said.

Cebu Pacific chief executive Lance Gokongwei earlier said the airline flew 4.3 million passengers in the first half, which was in line with its full-year target of nine million passengers this year.

The airline expects delivery of 17 new planes from Airbus between 2009 and 2014, including two A320 planes this year. It will also take delivery of two ATR aircraft within the year.

Cebu Pacific said its costs and operating expenses also increased, to P9.28 billion from P8.19 billion a year earlier.

It incurred foreign exchange losses of P223.38 million, though that was 77 percent lower than last year’s P958.72 million.

The airline posted fuel hedging gains of P471.43 million against P77.11 million last year.

“All these factors contributed to the turnaround in the airline’s bottom line, from a net loss of P15.66 million last year to a net income of P1.82 billion this year,” the airline said.

Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific expected to be profitable this year, but challenges remained in the second half and mostly as a result of increasing fuel prices.

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