The Air Mauritius Group recorded profits of €13.8 million ($14.6 million) for 2Q in its 2016-17 financial year. This more than doubled the figure for the same period a year ago when it earned €5.8 million. Revenue for the Group rose 2.1% to €131.1 million.
Profit for the airline section of the Group was €13.6 million, compared to €5.7 million last time.
Passenger numbers at the Indian Ocean carrier rose 8.9% to 416,000 compared to 382,000 last time. Capacity rose 5.4% and load factor increased from 80.4% to 83.7%.
Operating expenses for the period decreased 4.2% to €113.6 million. As with most airlines this year, it reported a drop in yield, by 4.5%.
The company pursued its growth strategy by extending its Asian network to include a weekly service from Guangzhou, China, from July 2016. Indian Ocean nations have seen a sharp rise in Chinese tourism in the past few years.
The sharp rise in profits in 2Q significantly helped the 1H figures, with profits rising to €15.9 million at Group level compared to a loss of €3.9 million last time. The airline itself saw profits jump to €15.5 million compared to a loss of €4.1 million.
Operating revenue of the Group rose 2.4% to €243.3 million for the half-year, while operating expenses decreased 6% to €214.6 million, mainly because of lower fuel costs.
Passenger numbers for the half-year rose 8.9% to just under 760,000. Load factor climbed from 77.9% to 80.6%.
However, the Group warned that competition had further intensified with the arrival of new carriers in the marketplace. Consequently, it anticipated “a very challenging second semester.” Several initiatives were underway to respond to the challenge, particularly in increasing its presence in Asian and emerging markets.