Singapore Airlines Q1 operating profit falls 52% on weak yields

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) reported a 52% fall in its first-quarter operating profit that trailed market estimates as Asia's second-biggest airline took a blow from industry overcapacity and weak yields.

"Aggressive fares and capacity injections from competitors will continue to place pressure on yields," SIA said in a statement on Wednesday.

Battling intense competition from Gulf airlines and discount carriers, SIA Chief Executive Goh Choon Phong is pushing Singapore's premium airline into new markets like India, while increasing the group's exposure to the low-cost segment through its fully-owned subsidiary Scoot, and affiliate Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd.

SIA, which has a market value of US$10.3bil, reported an operating profit of S$39.5mil (US$31.8mil) in the quarter ended June versus S$81.7mil a year ago. This compared with an average forecast of S$46.1mil in a Reuters survey of five analysts, though the estimates varied widely. One other analyst estimated an operating loss of S$43mil. - Reuters
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