Comair Limited (COM) on Tuesday reported a 76.10% drop in diluted headline earnings per share for the year ended June 2012 to 3.8 cents from the 15.9 cents recorded in the previous year.

“The past year has been the toughest financial period in Comair’s history and no different from that experienced by the global aviation industry. The sustained high fuel price and weak global economy created pressure from which few airlines could escape unscathed‚ as evidenced by the failure of such notable carriers as Malev (in Hungary)‚ Spanair and Air Australia‚ and the filing for Chapter 11 protection by American Airlines‚” Comair said in a JSE Sens statement.

Its revenue increased to R4.1bn from R3.5bn with operating expenses rising from R3.3bn to R3.9bn.

“Revenue grew by 16% as a result of sustained product excellence and value proposition‚ and despite continued pricing competition. This year saw the highest ever average jet fuel price‚ being 29% higher than the average for the prior year‚ and 50% higher than that of 2010‚” it said.

Diluted earnings per share for the period under review dropped 89.93% to 1.6 cents.

“The past year has been one of inward focus and addressing the fundamentals in order to ensure sustainability in an environment of higher operating costs‚” it said.

“The coming year will continue to target these issues‚ with the delivery of the new aircraft and ongoing implementation of Sabre systems functionality‚ and related process changes. As much as these efforts address internal efficiencies‚ they will also provide a better customer proposition‚ reduced environmental impact and a strong platform for future growth‚” Comair said.

The group did not declare a dividend.

Comair Limited is the owner of Kulula Airlines and has a licence to fly flights under the British Airways brand in SA. - I-Net Bridge