Comair Limited issued its interim financial results yesterday (February 13), reporting a record first-half performance for the 2018 financial year. This has resulted in profit after tax of R203m compared with R199m in the prior period.
Other highlights from the financial results are earnings per share and headline earnings per share of 43,6 cents compared with 42,8 cents in the prior period; EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) of R604m (R575 in the prior period); revenue growth and passenger volumes up by 6%, despite a volatile economy; steady growth in non-airline business units, contributing 13% to profit from operations; and strong operating cash flows of R517m, with cash in hand of R777m on December 31, 2017.
“We are very pleased with the results, which have been achieved despite a volatile economy and surplus capacity which restricts occupancy levels below international standards. Despite a lack of growth in the economy and the GDP, we saw a 6% growth in both revenue and passenger volumes,” says Erik Venter, CEO of Comair.
Venter notes that investment in two major aspects of Comair’s operations continue to help offset the constraints experienced by the local airline sector. Firstly, the fleet renewal programme enables the company’s two airline brands, kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) to operate more competitively than airlines operating older, less fuel-efficient aircraft. Secondly, its vigorous expansion of its non-airline business continues its steady growth.
Looking ahead, Venter says Comair intends to capitalise on expanded capacity of its facilities and is well placed to prosper despite political uncertainty that continues to result in volatile economic positions.
Venter concludes that Comair’s cross-appeal in its claim against SAA for damages arising from anti-competitive conduct will be heard some time in the next few months. If successful, the damages will amount to around R1,9bn.