– Acquisition-related costs weighed on earnings. WFS was consolidated for the first time. It incurred a one-off integration cost (S$12.6mn), amortization of intangible assets (S$9.1mn), lease expenses (S$7.4mn) and cost for refinancing of WFS’ bonds (S$0.6mn). The final amount of intangible assets will be determined in 2H24e. The annual amortization could change.
– Net debt rose to S$2.2bn (Mar 23: S$0.77bn). Higher interest expense cancelled out all the operating gains. Free cash flow was negative S$10.7mn in 1Q24.
– Volume handled by WFS has declined in tandem with the decline in global air cargo demand. However, the industry decline is moderating (Jun 23: -3.4% YoY, YTD: -8.1%).
+ SATS-only operations were profitable, though it no longer enjoy government relief.
The outlook is mixed. Aviation-related profits could improve with 1) inflight meals restoring to pre-COVID levels; 2) reduction in double-catering; and 3) increase in number of flights. On the other hand, air cargo volume might remain sluggish from lower manufacturing output and trade activities. The higher interest expense is a drag on earnings.