Canada's CAE profit plunges on lower flight simulator sales

(Reuters) - Civil aviation training company CAE Inc CAE.TO on Friday reported a 35.8% fall in quarterly profit, hurt by a slump in training revenue in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Canadian company warned of a significant impact in the short term.

The COVID-19 crisis has roiled the global travel sector, with air travel demand in U.S. alone down by about 95% as state-wide lockdown measures led to a rise in ticket cancellations and decline in traffic.

“In March, approximately one-third of Civil training locations worldwide suspended operations, and several of those remaining open, operated at significantly reduced capacity,” the company said.

Montreal-based CAE, the world’s largest civil aviation training company, said revenue in its civil aviation unit grew just 1.4% in the fourth quarter ended March 31.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to C$78.4 million ($55.9 million), or 29 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter, from C$122.3 million, or 46 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to C$977.3 million from C$1.02 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 41 Canadian cents per share and revenue of C$1.04 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel