Ground-handler SATS net profit up 23% in Q3

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Singapore-based ground handling company SATS has posted a 23% increase in net profit for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012/13.

It reported a net profit of Singapore dollars (S$) 47 million ($38 million) for the three months ended 31 December 2012, up from S$38.2 million in the corresponding period last year.

The company's group revenue increased by 6.4% to S$471 million in the quarter. This was mainly because of the increased flights and higher meal volumes that led to the gateway and food businesses reporting 6.8% and 6.2% growth in revenue respectively, says SATS.

Its expenditure increased by 6.3% to S$424 million, largely as a result of the higher staff, raw material and licensing costs incurred, in line with higher business volume.

For the nine months ended 31 December, SATS posted a net profit of S$139 million, an increase of 14.7% compared with the same period last year. The company's revenue increased by 9.4% to S$1.37 billion, while its expenditure rose by 8.9%.

The company's cash and cash equivalents as of 31 December amounted to S$270 million.

On its full year outlook, SATS says that the quarter ending 31 March is usually a low season at Singapore's Changi airport. However, the company continues to be supported by the robust intra-Asia traffic growth and expects moderate growth for its Singapore aviation business.