Financial Times

SriLankan posts US$ 1.7 million profit in December

By Duruthu Edirimuni

National carrier SriLankan Airlines made a profit of US$ 1.7 million in December after 11 months of losing money, a company official told The Sunday Times FT. "Ever since December 2007, as a group company we were losing money," the official said.

When Sri Lankan CEO Manoj Gunewardene was contacted he did not confirm or deny it. "One swallow does not make a summer," he commented, but added, "Definitely the operating conditions for the airline have turned for the better.” Mr Gunewardene said budget reductions on the cost side have been achieved, but on revenue the business is that much harder due to the effects of the global credit crisis. "In spite of this we have made our revenue targets for the eight months ending December, he added.

The challenge is to keep achieving these operating results for the rest of the financial year (up to March 2009), the CEO said, noting that the airline from a business restructuring aspect had aggressive capacity cuts and achieved cost efficiencies but is now focusing on initiatives which brings it revenue. .

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