Cebu Air says 2023 results signal ‘stronger’ performance this year


CEBU AIR, Inc. (CEB), operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific, expects higher earnings this year after returning to profitability in 2023, driven by strong passenger demand. 

“Moving forward, we are optimistic that Cebu Pacific’s solid 2023 financial results will set the foundation for a stronger financial performance in 2024,” Mark Julius V. Cezar, Cebu Air chief financial officer, told the stock exchange on Tuesday. 

Without disclosing comparative figures, Cebu Air registered a net income of P7.9 billion for 2023, reversing its losses in 2022.

Based on the company’s financial statement, as previously disclosed at the stock exchange, Cebu Air registered a net loss of P13.98 billion in 2022.

For 2023, the company recorded an operating income of P8.6 billion; while its EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization reached P21.8 billion, marking a significant increase from the P664 million in 2022.

Its revenue climbed by 60% to P90.6 billion fueled by robust travel demand, the company said.

Passenger business posted a 78% increase, posting a total revenue of P62.5 billion.

Last year, Cebu Pacific flew over 20 million passengers and more than 140,000 flights, this translated to about 41% and 30% increase, respectively from the year earlier.

Seat load factor, which is used to measure the percentage of available seating capacity filled, has also improved to 84%.

Further, its total operating expenses also expanded by 20% to P82 billion which it attributed to higher fuel costs and fleet-related expenses.

“CEB took 18 aircraft deliveries throughout 2023, increasing its fleet to improve its operational resiliency while sustaining capacity growth. Also embedded in its expenses are digitalization and other efforts to support its customer first initiatives,” the company said.

For the three months to December, Cebu Air’s has also returned to profitability by recording an earnings of P2.9 billion from a loss of P1.9 billion in 2022.

Its fourth quarter revenues, which expanded by 23%, has also pushed the company’s growth. In the last quarter of 2023, Cebu Air’s top line reached P23.7 billion, its strongest in terms of revenue for the year.

The company logged a P2.4 billion operating net income for the fourth quarter, reversing its net loss of P232 million in the same period a year earlier.

At the local bourse on Tuesday, shares in the company closed unchanged at P31 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose