AirAsia’s Q3 net profit rises 42% to RM505.3m

PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 rose 42.79% to RM505.33 million from RM353.89 million a year ago due to lower deferred tax expenses.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said its deferred tax was 80% lower at RM23.79 million during the quarter compared with RM118.70 million a year ago.

Net operating profit for the quarter was 6.99% lower at RM374.21 million, compared with RM423.02 million for the corresponding quarter in 2016 on higher operating expense.

This was despite revenue jumping 45.13% to RM2.45 billion for the quarter from RM1.69 billion a year ago due to a 12% increase in total passengers carried, despite a marginal decrease in load factor to 87% from 88% a year ago. Total passengers carried rose 12% to 9.89 million from RM8.83 million a year ago.

Average fare decreased 2% to RM172 from RM176 a year ago while the overall revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) of the group remained flat at 14.76 sen during the quarter against 14.98 sen a year ago.

During the quarter, the group increased its seat capacity by 14% from a year ago, delivering an additional 1.43 million seats. This was on the back of 4% increase in total fleet size to 110 aircraft from 106 aircraft a year ago.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2017, net profit fell 19.44% to RM1.27 billion from RM1.57 billion a year ago while revenue rose 41.05% to RM7.05 billion from RM5 billion a year ago.

For the fourth quarter ending Dec 31, 2017 (FY17), the group expects to achieve an average load factor of 87% based on existing forward booking trend. It plans to add 12 aircraft via operating leases during the quarter.

The group said its overall results for FY17 may be better than FY16. Its share price rose 9 sen or 2.92% to close at RM3.17 with a total of 6.71 million shares traded.