Comair profits up 54%

Comair Limited has released its annual financial results, reporting a 54 percent increase in profits, to R297 million, as well as a 28 percent increase in cash generated by its operations. Moreover, income generated by its non-airline brands now constitutes 20 percent of its earnings.

Erik Venter (pictured), Comair CEO, says the results, including the strong performance of the non-airline operations, support Comair's strategic focus. He said the weak economy and narrow profit-margins in the airline industry have favoured the pursuit of growth from Comair's non-airline businesses. This approach has been rewarded with strong performances by the travel businesses, including Kulula Holidays, the Comair Training Centre (CTC), the SLOW lounges, and the Food Directions catering operation; all of which performed well and justified further investment.

Regarding the financial year ahead, Venter says the current weak economy is expected to maintain pressure on consumer spending.

He said:

"As a result, we'll see continued pressure on margins, particularly in the airline industry, combined with a possible decline in passenger volumes. Fortunately, Comair is well positioned to operate in these conditions, with strong brands, dedicated staff, effective equipment, an efficient cost base and strong cash reserves."