Singapore Airlines Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest carrier, posted a surprise fourth-quarter loss after making a provision for its cargo unit, while the main carrier had a loss amid competition from budget operators in the region.
The carrier reported a net loss of S$138.3 million ($99.3 million), compared with an estimate for a profit for S$54.3 million in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The company took a provision of S$132 million in the period.
Singapore Air, which is under pressure from regional discount carriers, said in February that 2017 will be a challenging year as passenger and cargo yields — a key measure of profitability — remain under pressure. In a bid to boost shareholder returns, it has stepped up debt sales as it goes on a record plane-buying spree.
Shares of the marquee carrier — the only Asian airline to have flown the Concorde and the first in the world to fly the A380 superjumbo — have risen 11 percent this year, lagging behind the 15 percent gains for the Bloomberg Asia Pacific Airlines Index.