Haeco's worker shortage cuts profit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 August, 2013, 12:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 August, 2013, 1:46am

Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (Haeco), Swire Pacific's aircraft maintenance subsidiary, said its business will continue to be hurt by a labour shortage in Hong Kong that drove down its net profit by 21 per cent year on year in the first half.

Haeco reported a net profit of HK$359 million for the first six months versus restated profit of HK$455 million in the same period last year. Turnover rose 11 per cent to HK$3.22 billion.

The company was seeking government support to import qualified engineers and mechanics to ease constraints on the supply of skilled workers in the city, chairman Christopher Pratt said.

Net profit at Haeco's Hong Kong operation plunged 75.3 per cent to HK$44 million, with its net profit margin plummeting to 2.8 per cent from 10 per cent last year.

Its airframe business suffered the most from the shortage of skilled workers.

Line maintenance business saw a 2.2 per cent growth to 326 planes handled per day on average due to an overall increase in aircraft movements in the city's airport.

Staff remuneration and benefits surged 14.6 per cent to HK$1.47 billion on a stable headcount. The company said it was improving pay and career opportunities to retain quality staff.

The results at Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Company improved. Net profit increased 35 per cent to HK$62 million, for the first time exceeding the profit in Haeco's Hong Kong operation.

Haeco declared an interim dividend of 80 HK cents per share, down from 88 HK cents a year ago.

Haeco shares slipped 0.84 per cent to HK$106.60 yesterday, when the Hang Seng Index rose 1.21 per cent.