Comair reports post-tax profit of 79m rand in H2 2012

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South Africa's Comair reported a post-tax profit of 79 million rand ($8.9 million) for the six months to 31 December 2012, compared with 34 million rand in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 17% year-on-year to 2.4 billion rand, while operating expenses were up 9% to 2.18 billion rand. Operating profit before depreciation increased more than fourfold to 234 million rand.

The introduction of four fuel-efficient Boeing 737-800s helped to offset a 6% decline in the total domestic passenger market, Comair says.

Predicting flat market volumes for the next six months, chief executive Erik Venter says the networks of both of Comair's brands - low-cost venture Kulula, and its British Airways franchise - will be optimised.

"We are attentively optimistic of further improvements to profitability and cash generation in the second half of the 2013 financial year, particularly as Kulula flights from Johannesburg OR Tambo to East London will commence from 1 March, and British Airways flights from Johannesburg OR Tambo to Maputo from May onwards," he says.

"There are also further growth opportunities for our travel business, flight training facility, catering business and airport lounges in the year ahead."