Singapore’s SATS says it’s back in profit

SATS workers restocking a plane. (PHOTO: SATS)

Aviation Festival AFA 728 x 90Singapore-based SATS reported its unaudited results for the second half (2H) and the full year ended 31 March 2024 (FY24). With aviation rebounding from the pandemic and the consolidation with WFS as part of a Group-wide transformation into a global player, SATS has swung back to profitability with PATMI of S$56.4 million for the full year on the back of record high revenue of S$5.1 billion for the period. Improved cargo performance and travel recovery buoyed Group revenue. SATS has been delivering steady improvements in financial performance over the quarters since its integration with WFS, the world’s largest air cargo handling firm, in April 2023. The integration with WFS is on track, with the Group’s expanded network, global connectivity and consolidation with WFS contributing to its return to profitability.

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SATS 2H FY24 Group revenue increased by 182.2% to S$2.7 billion over the same period last year, primarily driven by the consolidation of WFS which has given the Group increased market share and generated network synergies. As a combined business, SATS Gateway Services revenue grew by 331% YoY to S$2.1 billion, while the Food Solutions revenue increased by 26.8% to S$591.8 million. The Group’s expenditure increased by S$1.6 billion YoY to S$2.5 billion due to volume growth, WFS consolidation and price hikes for goods and services. Additionally, the 2H FY23 Group expenditure also included S$36.3 million in government reliefs, which helped to lower the Group’s overall expenditure in the previous period.

In 2H FY24, SATS recorded an operating profit of S$172.2 million, reversing a S$5.7 million loss over the same period last year. The share of earnings of associates and joint ventures increased by 136.0% to S$65.6 million, driven by improved performance of aviation associates and joint ventures, which benefited from the travel recovery. Through a series of commercial, operational and financial initiatives such as rate increases, improved operational excellence, cost containment and refinancing, SATS restored profitability to the business. In 2H FY24, PATMI improved by S$58.1 million to S$64.1 million (after taking into account higher interest expense) over the same period last year.

FY24 (1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024) FY24 Group revenue increased by 192.9% to a record S$5.1 billion over the same period last year, driven primarily by the consolidation of WFS, improvements in air cargo volumes, and the continuing travel recovery. For the year, Gateway Services revenue grew 354.8% to S$4.0 billion, while Food Solutions revenue grew 27.4% to S$1.1 billion.

Group expenditure rose by 171.6% YoY to S$4.9 billion. The increase was due to several factors, including the need for more resources to handle higher volumes, inflationary pressures, and the absence of S$59.1 million of government reliefs. In FY24, SATS Group recorded an operating profit of S$244.2 million, reversing a loss of S$48.0 million from the year before. The share of earnings of associates and joint ventures increased by 142.3% to S$110.0 million, with improved performance from the majority of aviation associates and joint ventures.


Margin improvement was strong in FY24. EBITDA (plus SoAJV) margin increased to 17.3% from 9.9% in FY23 due to revenue growth, better operating leverage, and an increased contribution from SoAJV. SATS returned to the black in FY24, reporting a PATMI for the Group of S$56.4 million after taking into account higher interest expenses. The Group’s performance was underpinned by the global aviation recovery, as well as increased market share and network synergies from its WFS acquisition. The PATMI for FY24 represented an S$82.9 million improvement from the S$26.5 million loss recorded in FY23.

The transformation of SATS into a global player with an expanded route network and global presence makes the Group well positioned to capitalise on strong tailwinds and positive growth momentum in air cargo and passenger traffic, which will drive sustainable long-term value-added growth in the aviation sector. Global air passenger traffic is projected to recover fully to 2019 levels by the end of 2024,1 while global air cargo traffic is forecasted to grow by 4.5%2 in 2024. SATS will benefit from these trends and be further bolstered by a robust e-commerce3 sector and the growing demand for specialised services4 which give better yields from air cargo services.

Looking ahead, SATS’ financial focus remains on reducing debt, and optimising our cash position to strengthen our balance sheet, reinvesting for sustainable growth, and returning value to shareholders.

Kerry Mok, president and CEO of SATS. (PHOTO: SATS)

Kerry Mok, President and Chief Executive Officer of SATS, said, “We celebrate our first-anniversary milestone as a combined entity delivering another quarter of strong results leading SATS back to full-year profitability. This was driven by the aviation sector recovery, improvements in air cargo volumes and better operational performance across the business. SATS is now a global player with a strong international team and we aim to seize growth opportunities in the global aviation sector to create value for our stakeholders.

“We are fully committed to supporting the current and future needs of Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of the busiest and most respected airports in the world. Achieving strong performance in our home market will enable SATS to replicate the Group’s core competencies in key markets around the world, thereby building business resilience and financial sustainability. We have begun delivering on our priorities of restoring profitability, optimising capital structure, and increasing free cash flow in FY24. We are staying focused on working diligently, around the clock and around the world, to capture even more synergies from the ongoing SATS-WFS integration, streamline our portfolio, and reduce debt. We are committed to developing SATS into a market leader and responsible corporate steward that is future-ready and financially sustainable.”


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