Regional Express executive chairman Lim Kim Hai says he is optimistic about the airline’s outlook despite it reporting an eight per cent decline in profit before tax for the 2011 financial year to $24.1 million.
For the year ended June 30, which Lim described as “extremely challenging” due to “spiralling” fuel costs and the impact of weather events such as Queensland floods and cyclones and June’s volcanic ash cloud, Rex’s revenue increased 4.7 per cent of $239 million, although net profit after tax fell 28.5 per cent to $17.6 million due to “the discontinuation of tax incentives in the prior FY”.
“In spite of these sobering results, I am actually more optimistic and confident of the outlook and potential of the Rex Group than I have ever been for the past nine years,” Lim said, noting that the “deep restructuring” of subsidiary Pel-Air is almost complete, and the Australian Airline Pilot Academy subsidiary is “poised to take off” after securing a key pilot training contract from the UAE.
“While the economic turmoil in the USA and Europe is as threatening as ever, at Rex we approach the new FY with a certain amount of confidence, serenity and even excitement,” Lim said. “However, the Rex Board does not believe that it is in a position to make an accurate profit forecast at this stage but believes that all its subsidiaries will be profitable this FY.”