SINGAPORE Feb 7 Singapore Airlines Ltd
reported on Tuesday a 1.7 percent rise in
third-quarter operating profit, helped by an unexpected growth
from cargo and mail, while net fuel costs fell.
Profit reached S$293 million ($207 million) for the three
months ended Dec. 31, S$5 million up from the same period last
The carrier, a barometer of the health of Asia's airline
industry, said "2017 is expected to be another challenging year
amid tepid global economic conditions and geopolitical concerns,
alongside other market headwinds such as overcapacity and
aggressive pricing by competitors."
The company has come under pressure due to weakening demand
for full-service long-haul travel amid competition from low-cost
carriers and Middle Eastern network carriers.
Operating profit in its main SIA brand fell 16.6 percent to
S$151 million. Profit fell 9.1 percent in its Silkair regional
airline, and was flat-to-slightly-higher for low-cost
subsidiaries, Tiger Airways and Scoot.
SIA Cargo posted an operating profit of S$53 million, its
best third quarter performance in nine years, due to
stronger-than-expected demand. In the same period of last year,
SIA Cargo only managed a S$2 million profit.
Net fuel costs declined $200 million, largely due to a $256
million reduction in fuel hedging loss, the company said.
Net profit fell 35.6 percent to S$177 million.
($1 = 1.4185 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)