Australian carrier Regional Express reported a flat full-year profit of A$25.2 million ($17 million) and expects it to fall by up to 20% in 2020 due to the slowing economic environment and weaker Australian dollar.
Passenger revenue for the year ended 30 June rose 7% to A$278 million, and group revenue rose by a similar amount to A$318 million. Yield improved by 2.7% and load factor rose 1.8 points to 63.1%.
Despite strong efforts with hedging, the airline's fuel costs for the year increased by 30%, and its second half was particularly impacted by the decline of the Australian dollar.
Net profit after tax rose 3.6% to A$17.5 million.
Executive chairman Lim Kim Hai commented that the flat result reflected "strong momentum of the first half just about balancing the downward pressures of the second half."
He also warned that the airline was braced for a tougher financial year ahead.
"In line with the global economic outlook and the possibility of a technical recession in Australia, the board expects its profit will reduce by 15 to 20% in FY20 but remains confident that Rex’s strong foundation, highly efficient operations and almost no debt will see the company through these turbulent conditions."