It added that despite the smaller freighter fleet, SIA Cargo's overall capacity, including that from passenger aircraft, still grew 4-5 per cent in each of the past two financial years.
It reported a S$132m hit to net profit relating to a European anticompetition ruling against its cargo unit, which had been previously announced.
The poor earnings were mainly due to "intense competition which continues to exert pressure on yields amidst persistent cost pressures", said SIA.
"The signs were already there that they might register a net loss in the fourth quarter", said aviation analyst Shukor Yusof of Endau Analytics, noting that profits in the previous quarters had been on the decline.
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It is also getting rid of four Airbus A380 superjumbos in its fleet, but will take delivery of three new A380s in the current financial year, which ends on March 31 next year, reported The Straits Times.
SIA said the new aircraft would enable the group to expand its network and boost competitiveness in both the full-service and low-priced segments.
Singapore Airlines is conducting a wide-ranging review of its operations as it became the latest Asian carrier to post a substantial reduction in annual net profit.
It added that the reintegration is not expected to have a material impact on SIA's financial performance in 2017/18 financial year.
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SIA said the many strategic initiatives being implemented to address the structural changes in the industry were now showing positive results.
"The review is aimed at identifying new revenue-generation opportunities and reshaping the business into one that continues to deliver high-quality products and services, though with a significantly improved cost base and higher levels of efficiency".
Building on this foundation, the next phase of the SIA group's transformation has been launched, it said.
Singapore Airlines, or what SIA calls the Parent Airline Company, suffered a 20.4 per cent drop in operating profit to S$386 million. Load factor slipped to 79%. The soft global cargo market helped push yield down 10.7 percent though, contributing to a revenue decline of SGD$89 million.
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But SIA Cargo swung to an operating profit of S$3 million for the year, from a S$50 million loss last year, reflecting a broader improvement in the global air freight market.