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Fiji Airways reports a Group Profit After Tax of $14.5 million in Transition Year 2013

Nadi, Fiji – Air Pacific Group today announced its financial results for the nine months period ended 31 December 2013, a stub financial year for Fiji’s National Airline.

The Group changed its financial year to reflect the calendar year following a Board decision. The prior financial year was from 1st April – 31st March 2013.  Mr. Nalin Patel, Chairman of Board of Directors of Air Pacific Limited Trading as Fiji Airways said that both airlines, Fiji Airways and Pacific Sun, and its consolidated group made profits for the nine months period ended 31 December 2013.  Air Pacific Group comprises Fiji Airways, its wholly owned subsidiary Pacific Sun, and a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island.

Air Pacific Group reported an operating profit before income tax of $14.2 million for the nine-month period ended 31 December 2013, compared to an operating profit before income tax of $22.4 million for the preceding twelve month period ended 31 March 2013.

On a net basis, The Group reported an after tax profit of $14.5 million for the nine months period compared to $17.8 million from the preceding 12-month period. The nine months performance was driven by an increase in passenger numbers by 2.5 % with an additional revenue of 1.0%, hence a slight yield decrease of -1.5 % due to the relentless competitive environment, especially from/to the US and Australia.  

Mr. Patel notes: “2013 was a major transition year for Fiji Airways. We rebranded to Fiji Airways in a nod to our heritage and our home and the new brand continues to win awards and accolades for us. And we changed over from our long serving B747 aircraft to the more efficient A330 wide-body aircraft. This transition alone accounted for more than $14 million one-time transition expenses in the Financial Year 2013. Our finance costs increased by $33.6 million as we added these new aircraft to our Fiji Airways fleet.”

“We also brought in Mr Stefan Pichler as new Managing Director and CEO to lead Fiji Airways to new levels. For the Board, this means confidence in the further growth path for the airline’s fleet, network, people, services, sustainable profitability and increased returns to the shareholders in the years ahead. I am confident that our dedicated team will deliver while remaining true to the Airline’s roots and maintaining its focus on its key principles of enhance level of safety, reliability and operational excellence.”

Stefan Pichler, MD&CEO comments: “Our recently approved Five Year Master Plan sets the foundation for sustainable and profitable growth between now and the end of 2017. It’s an incredibly exciting time for us, as we get ready to bring new aircraft in, growing our fleet by 25%. We have announced new routes and have strengthened in particular our South Pacific network. We’re pursuing new airline partnerships as well as working together more closely with our current allies and we will also work closer with our business partners in the travel trade and in cargo. Our operational performance in the past 6 months has been significantly improving, with an average on-time performance of 82.5% for Fiji Airways and 92.7% for Pacific Sun, soon to be rebranded to Fiji Link.”

“We will make sure that our staff, our shareholders and of course our customers will all benefit from our future success. I would like to personally thank every single one of our 1009 team members as we look forward to exciting times.”

The Fijian Attorney-General and Minister for Public Enterprises Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that not long ago, few believed the airline could even survive.

“But the Fijian Government acted decisively to save it by ensuring dynamic management and instituting financial discipline that has led to job security and job growth,” he said. “It is through the collaboration of the Fijian Government, the Fiji Airways Board, and the staff that our national airline now has a very strong and firm footing for the future.”

Highlights of FY2013 (April 1st – December 31st 2013) include:

•    Relaunch as Fiji Airways and introduction new aircraft, uniforms and on-board products;
•    Induction of two brand new A330s into the fleet;
•    Decision to rebrand of Pacific Sun to Fiji Link in mid-2014;
•    Development of our Five Year Master Plan to grow the airline with increased operating profits,
     driven by a larger fleet, more seat capacity and a larger network;
•    Release of new schedules to strengthen our network, with Suva-Sydney, Suva-Apia and Nadi-Honiara  as direct flights, as well as more frequencies for flights from Fiji to Hong Kong, Christchurch and Funafuti (Tuvalu);
•    A new lease arrangement for a brand new ATR 72-600 aircraft for Pacific Sun;
•    A new cargo interline agreement with Emirates SkyCargo;
•    The winning of various awards and accolades on our new brand and aircraft livery.

Air Pacific Group – Financial Result Highlights

Financial Results 9 months to
31st December 2013
$millions
12 months to
31st March 2013
$ millions
12 months to
31st March
2012
$ millions
Revenue 541.2 690.6 678.3
Profit before Income Tax 14.2 22.4 14.2
Profit after Income Tax 14.5 17.8 10.7

All amounts are in Fijian dollars.

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