South African Airways (SAA) posted an operating loss of 1.3 billion rand ($148 million) for the 2011/12 fiscal year, according to financial documents released at the company's annual general meeting.
The flag carrier recorded a net profit of 60 million rand for the year to 31 March 2012, though its bottom line incorporated a 514 million rand tax credit and an 823 million rand surplus on the revaluation of the group's property portfolio.
Revenue increased from 22.6 billion rand to 23.8 billion rand. The airline did not provide figures for capacity, traffic or load factor.
Speaking at SAA's annual general meeting, Malusi Gigaba, South African minister of public enterprises, said the company's ongoing liquidity problems were a major cause for concern.
"The airline's debt-to-equity position had deteriorated to such an extent that it casted doubt on the SAA status of going concern," he said. "The cash burn suffered by the airline depleted the working capital of the airline, presenting an immediate risk of the company not being able to meet its obligations."
Announcing the creation of a turnaround "task team" which will make recommendations for restructuring the carrier by 15 December, Gigaba said SAA must focus on restoring profitability on its intercontinental routes if it is to remain a viable entity.
Earlier this month, South Africa's government approved a 5 billion rand guarantee to protect the airline during the ongoing financial crisis.
SAA chief executive Siza Mzimela and two general managers tendered their resignation earlier this month, following a string of resignations by non-executive directors in September. Executive powers have been delegated to newly appointed chairman Vuyisile Kona.