Regional Express (Rex) says an improving Australian economy and more activity in the fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) sector will underpin a 20 per cent improvement in full year profit in 2017/18.
Deputy chairman John Sharp told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Sydney on Tuesday the recovery in the market towards the end of 2016/17 had continued into the current year.
Further, Rex’s passenger numbers for the first four months of 2017/18 was up four per cent compared with the prior corresponding period.
“The performance of the first trimester of this financial year appears to confirm the recovery trend noticed in the prior financial year,” Sharp said in prepared remarks.
“We also expect a firm increase in FIFO activities for Pel-Air in addition to new contracts confirmed at the tail end of the prior financial year.
“Overall we are confident that Rex Group will continue to perform stronger if the Australian economy continues on its modest recovery.”
Rex said in a slide presentation at the AGM its unaudited financial accounts indicated profit before tax for the first four months of 2017/18 was up 60 per cent from the prior corresponding period.
Meanwhile, “full year PBT was expected to exceed the prior financial year by over 20 per cent”, the company said, with the board reaffirming its commitment to a “healthy dividend payout ratio if the group achieves its profit target in FY18”.
Rex said it added one Saab 340B to its fleet since July 1 2017 “for increased work”.
In August, Rex reported statutory net profit after tax of $12.62 million for the 12 months to June 30 2017, a return to the black following a net loss of $9.56 million in the prior corresponding period when it booked an impairment charge relating to the loss of a Defence contract.
Operational profit before tax, which excludes one-off charges and was regarded as the best indication of financial performance, was $17.8 million, more than four times the $4.3 million result in the prior year.