Rex has posted a full-year operational loss before tax of $31.7 million, just shy of the $35 million loss it predicted in June.
The figure is still a dramatic improvement from Rex’s $109 million loss in the 2022 financial year, and it has reported a statutory profit of $14.4 million thanks to a “positive fair value contribution” of $44.5 million from its September acquisition of FIFO operator National Jet Express (NJE).
Rex did not pay a dividend due to the loss, and refrained from issuing any FY24 profit guidance citing “uncertainty in the global economic outlook”.
However, it expects revenue to increase thanks to growth in passenger demand, extra flying with the addition of 2-4 more 737-800s and new contracts including FIFO and charter.
Rex chairman Lim Kim Hai said the aviation industry was still being “smashed” by the lingering effects of COVID-19 in FY23, including through acute pilot shortages and supply chain disruptions.
“Looking ahead in this FY, the prospects seem much brighter across the Group. The delivery of the 8th and 9th 737-800NG aircraft in Q1 FY24 will bolster our domestic expansion plans and revenue. A 10th aircraft is envisaged in the later part of the FY,” he said.
“Pel-Air’s revenue is expected to grow in the FY with the entry into service in NSW Ambulance of two Pilatus PC24 jets and the start of the new Ambulance Victoria contract, both in the second half of the FY. NJE’s foray into Queensland sets the stage for further expansion opportunities to cater to the increasing demands of resource companies in WA, SA and QLD.
“Rex’s two pilot academies expect to enrol 40 Rex cadets and 200 international cadets from Vietnam, Singapore and China before the end of the FY with 60 already enrolled in the month of August.”
Rex had said in February it was “cautiously optimistic” it would be profitable in FY23 despite recording an after-tax loss of $16.5 million in its half-year results.
In a surprise statement in June, however, the business predicted a loss, blaming a global shortage of pilots and engineers, along with supply chain shocks post-pandemic that have forced schedule reductions.
Rex also said a rise in international fares had reduced demand for local business travel, but it believed it could record an operating profit before tax for the next financial year.