PIA rebounds in revenue but still in loss

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airline (PIACL) on Wednesday announced its half-yearly results for the period ending June 30, 2019, after a meeting of the Board of Directors on Tuesday.

As per the financials, the PIA has reported a 41 per cent increase in revenue in PKR terms, whereas a 17pc increase in USD. The PIA was also able to increase its other income to $7,587,000 by a $5,392,000 increase over the same period last year.

However, despite that, PIA is standing at an operating loss of Rs7,121,568,000 or $47,640,000 for the six-month period ended June 30, 2019. This means that losses are down by approximately 59pc as compared to the same period last year. The company further witnessed an increase in finance, taxation, and exchange losses, which resulted in the loss for the period to amount to Rs37,892,369,000 or $253,481,000.

The loss per shares for the A-class ordinary shares of Rs10 each clock in at Rs7.24 as compared to Rs6.19 for the six months ended June 30, 2018; whereas the loss per shares for the B class ordinary shares of Rs5 are at Rs3.62 as compared to Rs3.10 in the previous period.

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As for the financial position of the company, the PIA has been able to bring up its non-current assets. The balance sheet, however, shows that no additional capital is being raised using long-term financing, while PIA no longer has liabilities in the form of term finance and sukuk certificates in the recent period. Moreover, the company has managed to keep its borrowing in check. On an overall basis, the company has managed to bring up its equities and liabilities to Rs150,751,814,000 and $941,894,000 after a 19pc increase.

Umer Farooq, AKD Securities says, “While there is a marked improvement in operational performance, financial position remained weak, with interest-bearing liabilities increasing by 20pc over the year.” Farooq further says, “Principal repayments against long term loans in the next twelve months have risen to Rs91 billion (30pc of the total interest-bearing liabilities), posing a serious rollover risk to the company.”

Fahad Hussain Khan, deputy head of research at Adam Securities commented, “Possible reasons for the double digit growth in topline could be a significant improvement in cargo utilization, increase in flights to Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, improvement in seat factor, along with better reliability of scheduled flights.”

Prior to the results, on February 7, 2020, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the income of PIA has increased, adding that the expenses have recorded a sharp decrease. In September last year, former PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Mahmood Malik had said that the PIA’s revenue increased by 41pc between March and September last year.

With effect from January 27, the PIA was removed from the defaulters’ list of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The national flag carrier was placed on the list in October 2018 for failure to hold an annual meeting and submit a statement of audited accounts for the year ending December 2017.

As for the future, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said earlier this year that under the new ‘Aviation Policy’, five new planes were being added to PIA fleet this year. The minister was of the view that the addition of new aircraft would improve the working and flight operations of PIA. With Chief Operating Officer (COO) Syed Ijaz Mazhar in January assuming charge as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the national flag carrier, the future financial performance of PIA is under question.

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Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/AribaShahid
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