Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Tuesday net profit fell an annual 42.8 per cent in the third quarter to December as it carried fewer passengers and cargo due to the global economic downturn.
Net profit came in at 337 million Singapore dollars (225 million US) on revenue of 4.16 billion dollars,which was down 2.6 per cent year-on-year,the airline said in a statement.
The carrier,one of Asia’s major airlines,said it carried 4.8 million passengers in the October to December period,down 4.2 per cent from the same quarter the year before.
It also flew 14.2 per cent less freight during the quarter,mirroring a sharp fall in global trade as economies worldwide reel from the impact of the economic crisis.
Demand for air transportation is expected to remain weak for much of 2009, the company warned.
SIA said group expenditure rose 5.7 per cent,as gains from declining jet fuel prices were eroded by hedging losses totalling 341 million Singapore dollars.
Foreign exchange rate movements lowered operating profit by USD 144 million as major revenue generating currencies,particularly the Australian dollar,the UK pound and the euro,weakened against the Singapore dollar,even as the Japanese yen and the US dollar strengthened, it said.
SIA shares closed four cents higher at USD 10.44,prior to the announcement.