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Malaysia Airlines says 4Q profit doubles to push earnings for year to record

Malaysia Airlines says 4Q profit doubles to push earnings for year to record

Malaysia Airlines said Monday its net profit doubled in the fourth quarter to push 2007 earnings to a record result, highlighting the carrier's return to black after two years of losses.
Profit in the quarter through December jumped to 242 million ringgit (US$75 million; euro53 million). Revenue rose 8 percent from the same quarter a year ago to 4.1 billion ringgit (US$1.2 billion; euro890 million).
For the year, the carrier earned 851 million ringgit (US$264 million; euro185 million), compared to a loss of 136 million ringgit in 2006.
"Last year's profit was the best that we made in our 60-year history," Managing Director Idris Jala told reporters, attributing it to operational improvements under its business revamp.
The national carrier said it would pay dividends totaling 41 million ringgit (US$12.7 million; euro8.9 million) to shareholders _ the highest in a decade _ and reward its 19,700-strong work force with bonuses. The dividends are the first to be paid since 2004.
"We have come a long way from our 1.3 billion ringgit (US$404 million; euro283 million) losses and near bankruptcy in 2005 ... but we are not declaring victory yet," Idris said.
Revenue in 2007 shot up by 13 percent from a year ago to 15.3 billion ringgit (US$4.8 billion; euro3.3 billion), thanks to strong passenger demand and higher yield.
The carrier also now has cash reserves of 5.3 billion ringgit (US$1.6 billion; euro1.15 billion), which will be used to finance aircraft purchase, Idris said.
The carrier unveiled a five-year growth plan last month to raise profits to as much as 3 billion ringgit (US$932 million; euro652 million) by 2012 through the opening of new routes in Asia, fleet expansion, lowering fares and further cost-cutting.
It has projected profit to grow 17.5 percent this year.
"We just arrived at base camp. From turnaround, we now move to transformation. We must secure our future success in view of the overcapacity and liberalization" of air travel in Asia, he said.
Idris said the airline will restructure its operations in procurement, distribution and electronic ticketing to save 1 billion ringgit (US$313 million; euro219 million) this year.
A proposed joint venture for maintenance and repair with Australian carrier Qantas, and a recent tie-up between Malaysia Airlines' cargo unit with the world's biggest freight forwarder DHL will augment its revenue, he said.
The flag carrier aims to achieve "profit target of 1 billion ringgit in 2008 and double or even triple that by 2012," he said.
The profit targets are based on the assumption of oil prices at US$100 a barrel.


Updated : 2021-06-22 02:39 GMT+08:00