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Record profit, more dire warnings for Rex

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 3, 2012

Rex hit record profits in the last financial year. (Scott Mason)

Regional Express pulled in record profits last financial year but has warned of tougher times ahead as it deals with the cost of the carbon tax.

Rex reported a net profit of $25.5 million for the year ending June 30, up 45 per cent, on the back of an increase in fly-in, fly-out services for the mining sector. Pre-tax profits reached $35.1 million

But the airline said it expected profits to dip by 15-25 per cent in the current financial year due to an estimated $4-5 million bill from the carbon tax and other recent federal policy changes. The carrier has warned that increasing costs could force it to cut some marginal rural routes.

Rex chairman Lim Kim Hai, a voluble critic of the carbon tax, renewed his criticism in a statement accompanying the airline’s financial results.

“Even as the world is entering a period of severe economic hardship that could be worse than the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the government has slapped on regional aviation the triple whammy of carbon tax, additional security charges and removal of the Enroute Rebate Scheme,” he said. The government has defended its policies.

Nevertheless, Mr Lim said he felt “humbled and blessed” at the airline’s record profits even as Qantas and many of the world’s largest airlines face financial losses.

Rex said it would issue a dividend of 9 cents per share, up from 7.1 cents the previous year.


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