AirAsia X’s quarterly net profit soars to record high

AirAsia X’s quarterly net profit soars to record high

PETALING JAYA,.  Low-cost carriers Air Asia X Berhad (AAX) net profit for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 soared 116% to RM84.41mil from RM39.01mil in the previous corresponding period, bolstered by higher passenger volume.

Revenue in the quarter rose to an all-time high of RM1.22bil from RM1.17bil a year earlier, it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

“The revenue was supported by a 12% growth in passenger volume. Ancillary revenue per passenger increased by 4% to RM142 year-on-year (y-o-y). The seat load factor was at 83%, which was two percentage points higher than the same period last year.

“Average fare was down by 8% to RM519 compared with the RM565 achieved in the fourth quarter of 2016,” it said.

Revenue per available seat kilometer (Rask), meanwhile, was down 3% y-o-y to 13.36 sen in the quarter.

“The drop in Rask was within expectations due to increased capacity on existing routes, ensuring market dominance which resulted in slightly lower yields.

“Cost per available seat km (Cask) was lower by 6% y-o-y to 12.15 sen, while Cask ex-fuel dropped 8% y-o-y to 7.96 sen, mainly due to lower maintenance and overhaul on the back of over-accruals from previous quarters, and better aircraft utilisation.”

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017, AAX’s net profit increased to RM98.89mil from RM44.84mil in the previous corresponding period, while revenue rose to RM4.56bil from RM3.9bil a year earlier.

Commenting on the results, AAX co-group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the company’s fourth-quarter revenue was its highest in history.

“Overall, operationally, 2017 has seen many positives as we continue to drive a sustainable business model,” he said, adding that cost continues to be a priority for the company.

On the outlook for AAX, Fernandes said the company has begun 2018 by focusing on ensuring sustainable growth and profits.

“The AAX group will be adding six leased aircraft in 2018 for a total group fleet of 36 A330s by the end of 2018.

“This will be the first year that AAX is adding aircraft since 2015, demonstrating our confidence in the medium-to-long-haul low-cost space,” he said.

He added that AAX Malaysia and AAX Thailand would add three aircraft each in 2018.

“As for AAX Indonesia, we plan for high-yielding routes in 2018 as we continue to turn around Indonesia. Both North Asia –especially Japan – and India will be a key focus for the AAX group this year as we continue to drive country dominance in our core markets.”

Fernandes said AAX is looking forward to unlocking further synergies with the Air Asia group to fully optimise its route network.

“With a healthier balance sheet, stronger liquidity and solid forward bookings, it will provide the necessary cash flow required to continue to expand and reinvest in our business, as we strive to be the leader in the medium-to-long-haul low-cost market.”