Sats Q4 profit jumps 21% to $51.6 million, full-year earnings up 8.5% to $195.7 million

Changi Airport's biggest ground-handling firm, Sats, reported on Thursday a 21 per cent jump in net profit to $51.6 million, for the three months to March 31, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Changi Airport's biggest ground-handling firm, Sats, reported on Thursday a 21 per cent jump in net profit to $51.6 million, for the three months to March 31, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - Changi Airport's biggest ground-handling firm, Sats, reported on Thursday a 21 per cent jump in net profit to $51.6 million, for the three months to March 31, 2015.

Group revenue slipped 2.2 per cent to $425.1 million compared with the same three months last year. But total spending fell 3.2 per cent to $380.4 million, due mainly to the lower cost of raw materials as well as successful productivity measures which have mitigated rising labour costs, Sats said.

Consequently, operating profit improved 7.2 per cent year-on-year to $44.7 million.

Share of after-tax profits from overseas associates and joint venturers also rose strongly by 32.3 per cent to $13.1 million.

For the full year to end-March, earnings grew 8.5 per cent to $195.7 million.

Sats' president and chief executive officer, Alex Hungate, said: "Despite the tough operating conditions, we turned in a solid performance for the year..... We remain focused on executing against our strategy of growing scale and enhancing connectivity for our customers."

The board has recommended a final dividend of 9 cents per share, which including the interim dividend of 5 cents per share, brings the total dividend to 14 cents per share.

This translates to a payout ratio of 79.4 per cent of profits.