More business at Changi Airport, higher productivity and a tight lid on costs boosted full-year earnings at Sats.
Net profit jumped 12.7 per cent year-on-year to $220.6 million for the 12 months to March 31, the firm announced yesterday.
Sats handled close to 45 million passengers at Changi in the year, almost 8 per cent more than in the previous 12 months, while flight numbers jumped 5.7 per cent to around 133,000.
Total expenditure fell 5.8 per cent to $1.48 billion, which more than offset a 3.1 per cent decline in revenue to $1.7 billion.
Earnings for the fourth quarter dipped 1.7 per cent to $50.7 million compared with the same period a year earlier while revenue slid by 1.8 per cent to $417.6 million.
AT A GLANCE
Q4 NET PROFIT: $50.7 million (-1.7%)
Q4 REVENUE: $417.6 million (-1.8%)
FINAL DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 10 cents (+11.1%)
Despite challenges, including manpower constraints, the future is promising, said Sats president and chief executive Alex Hungate.
He told a briefing yesterday that there were opportunities in both the aviation and food business.
While the aviation business in Singapore remains a pillar of strength for Sats, the firm is also leveraging on new opportunities created by the growth of tourism in the region as well as the demand for safe, high-quality food from Asia's growing middle class, he said.
Mr Hungate added: "We will continue to focus on productivity and leverage on our scale... Volumes in the airline business are growing very fast and even if yields are not growing as much, it is volume that drives opportunity for us."
Food consumption in China is expected to double in five years and Indonesia is also growing very strongly, he pointed out.
The demand for air travel within Asia is also going to triple within the next 20 years. Mr Hungate said: "These are big trends that make us excited about the future."
Sats has proposed a final dividend of 10 cents per share, up from nine cents a year earlier.
Full-year earnings per share rose to 19.9 cents from 17.5 cents while net asset value per share was $1.34 as at March 31, up from $1.30 a year earlier.
Separately, Sats announced yesterday that Mr Edmund Cheng Wai Wing will step down as chairman and director on July 19.
Ms Euleen Goh Yiu Kiang, an independent non-executive director of the company, will take his place.