News Column

AirAsia's net profit falls to RM364m in 2013

February 26, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: LOW-COST carrier AirAsia Bhd's net profit fell 54 per cent to RM364.07 million for the year ended December 31 2013, from RM789.61 million previously.

The lower profit was due to higher finance costs and foreign exchange losses on borrowings, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Group revenue rose to RM5.19 billion, from RM4.95 billion a year ago, due to an 11 per cent growth in passenger volume to 42.6 million.

Average fare was 10 per cent lower at RM166 compared with RM184 in 2012.

For the fourth quarter, the airline made RM245.35 million, down from RM303.41 million in the same quarter a year ago. Its revenue during the quarter was flat at RM1.35 billion.

AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the outlook for 2014 is strong as it has set targets to ensure the airline remains lean through various cost initiatives.

"Some of the cost savings will be seen from operational synergies between AirAsia and AirAsia X, headcount reduction as the company looks at aggressively focusing on automation at current LCCT and klia2 when it is completed," Fernandes said in the statement

AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Aireen Omar said the company's cost reduction exercise had continued into the fourth quarter 2013.

The company was able to reduce cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) by 10 per cent from 14.11 sen down to 12.77 sen year-on-year (y-o-y), Aireen added.

This highlights the drive in its staff in guaranteeing producti--vity is maximised and operations are optimised. This eventually allowed AirAsia to further re-duce CASK-ex fuel by 14 per cent y-o-y from 6.63 sen to 5.73 sen, she said.

"We continue to ensure that our cash position remains strong. At the end of the reporting period, the company had RM1.39 billion in deposits, bank and cash balances and we continue to manage our net gearing level which stood at 1.75 times as at December 31 2013," Aireen said.

AirAsia's ancillary income per passenger y-o-y increased by five per cent, while load factor remained strong at 80 per cent.

Its operating profit was flat at RM1.02 billion compared with RM1.03 billion previously.

The group's cash from operations was RM112.1 million, compared with RM247.3 million in the immediate preceding quarter ended September 30 2013.

Net cash flow in the quarter amounted to a RM95.7 million outflow, as cash outflows from investing activities exceeded operating and financing cash inflows.

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Source: Business Times (Malaysia)

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