Friday, 27 January 2017

SOUTH AFRICA: Comair Prospering

Comair, a franchisee of British Airways and parent company of low-cost airline Kulula.com, says its bottom line gain will be higher than initially anticipated.

In a statement issued on Friday, it said earnings per share should be between 125 percent and 145 percent higher year-on-year for the six months to December.

This places earnings per share at between 40 and 44c a share.

Headline earnings per share, a key measure of profitability, are expected to be between 213 percent and 233 percent better at between 41 and 44c a share.

In the six month to December 2015, the company – which will report its results on Valentine’s Day, earned 18c in earnings per share, while headline earnings per share came in at 13.1c.

Earlier this month, the low-cost airline manager said earnings and headline earnings per share are expected to be at least 20 percent higher in the 6 months to December.

In the year-ago comparative period, Comair reported pre-tax profit of R382 million, which translated into earnings per share of 18c. However, this was substantially below the 2015 figure of 37.6c, mostly due to the weak rand.

In the 6 months to December 2016 headline earnings per share came in at 13.1c, compared with 37.6c in the 2015 period.

Comair, which in 2016 was involved in a strike, a tussle over its licence and a challenge from a competitor on its foreign ownership, explains that its gains are mostly due to the strengthening of the rand against the dollar.

This resulted in the reversal of unrealised translation losses on the dollar-denominated aircraft loan amounting to R98 million.

In addition, it said, all loss making open oil hedges had matured by December 31 and no further hedges were entered into.

Oil has currently stabilised around $54 a barrel.

Comair notes it cannot currently be more specific as to its figures, but will publish a more detailed statement “in due course”. It did not indicate when its results will be published, but JSE rules require its figures are out by the end of March.