AirAsia records profitable 3Q growth

AirAsia Berhad has reported its results for the third quarter ended 30 September 2012 including once again record quarter revenue, this time of RM1.24 billion, up 14% from a revenue of RM1.08 billion reported in the same quarter last year.

The growth was attributed to the increase in the number of passengers carried which grew 9% to 4.75 million and increase in capacity as the number of aircraft operating in Malaysia increased to 59. Despite the 10% increase in capacity, demand in terms of average load factor remained solid at 77% for 3Q12.

The net operating profit was RM205.04 million, an increase of 18% from the net operating profit of RM173.45 million reported in 3Q11. Profit after tax for the same period was RM157.81 million, up 4% from a profit after tax of RM152.3 million reported in 3Q11. The company also continued to deliver high EBITDAR and EBIT margins of 38% and 23% respectively.

AirAsia CEO, Aireen Omar, commented, “AirAsia continues to outperform each quarter with strong growth in net operating profit which has increased 18% and led to a 4% increase in profit after tax year-on-year (YoY). All of these were achieved despite the rise in fuel this quarter where we saw the average fuel price increased by 1% YoY.

“The company’s cash position remains strong with RM2.20 billion in cash and bank balances and on top of that, we have continued to reduce our net gearing further to 1.03 times this quarter (net gearing was reported at 1.10 times in 2Q12),” added Omar.

Costs, measured by cost per available seat per kilometre (CASK) was reported at 13.51 sen, an increase of 6% YoY and CASK, ex-fuel, stood at 6.82 sen, an increase of 8% YoY. This increase was due to the rise in aircraft fuel expenses in line with the growth in capacity YoY. There was also an increase in maintenance cost as more aircraft comes in for its routine checks. Also, since the third quarter last year the company took 13 aircraft on operating lease, thus increasing the aircraft operating lease expense YoY.

AirAsia reported an increase of 5% in revenue per available seat per kilometre (RASK), which went up to 17.49 sen in 3Q12 from 16.67 sen in 3Q11. This was attributed to the growth in ticket demand despite the 7% increase in average fare.

Thai AirAsia recorded revenue of THB4.43 billion in 3Q12, up 17% from the same period last year. ”This was attributed to 22% growth in passenger volume,” explained Thai AirAsia CEO, Tassapon Bijleveld.

Operating profit went up to THB230.7 million (18% YoY), and net profit was reported at THB199.05 million, a 3% increase from THB193.63 million in 3Q11. The average load factor rose to 82% from 80% YoY despite the 19% increase in capacity.

Indonesia AirAsia also posted very strong results in 3Q12. Revenue was reported at IDR1,200.4 billion, up 12% from IDR1,075.63 billion in 3Q11 attributed to 8% growth in passenger volume. Operating profit saw an impressive 715% increase to IDR138.27 billion from IDR16.98 billion reported last year.

Indonesia AirAsia CEO, Dharmadi, commented, “IAA has vastly improved YoY as most of last year it went through the various stages of phasing out the Boeing 737s. This contributed to profit after tax rising significantly to IDR74.48 from a loss of IDR25.7 billion reported during the same period last year. Load factor remained at 78% despite an 8% increase in capacity and we push ahead our turnaround story.”

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