The airline said expected earnings and headline earnings would be published when the group has reasonable certainty pertaining to the results. Photo: File.

JOHANNESBURG – Comair Limited said on Thursday that it expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the financial year ending 30 June to be up some 20 percent due to a settlement of more than R1 billion settlement it received from South African Airways (SAA).

In February, SAA agreed to pay Comair than R1.1 billion, plus interest, in a 14-year battle over the national carrier's anti-competitive conduct.

This was after the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's ruling that SAA had introduced an anti-competitive travel agent scheme that was designed to keep travel agents loyal to SAA.

SAA paid travel agents to divert customers to its flights in a scheme that ran from 2001 to about 2006.

The court ruled the settlement amount will be made in accordance with a payment schedule commencing on February 28, 2019 and terminating on July 28, 2022, or earlier should SAA elect to make payments earlier than agreed.

As a result, Comair said the award, a once off item, was expected to increase earnings per share (EPS) and HEPS by 277.43 cents. 

EPS and HEPS are expected to be more than 20 percent higher than the EPS of 69.8 cents and HEPS of 69.5 cents in the previous corresponding period.

"Shareholders are further advised that EPS and HEPS excluding the award for the financial year ending 30 June 2019 are expected to be more than 20 percent lower than the previous corresponding period. The effects of the settlement will be fully disclosed in the financial results," it said.

Comair, which operates British Airways and low-cost airline kulula.com in South Africa, is currently finalising its results for the year ended 30 June, 2019. 

The airline said expected earnings and headline earnings would be published when the group has reasonable certainty pertaining to the results.

African News Agency (ANA)