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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Net loss widens to RM519.35m in FY14 for AirAsia X (Edge)

AirAsia X Bhd (AAX), the low-cost, long-haul affiliate of AirAsia Bhd saw its net loss widen by 27% to RM168.42 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 (4QFY14) from RM132.6 million in 3QFY14, due to unrealised foreign exchange (forex) loss on borrowings and fair value loss on fuel hedging contracts.

This is the airline’s fifth consecutive quarterly loss since 4QFY13. Revenue for the quarter rose 20.4% to RM819.27 million from RM680.45 million a year ago. No dividends were declared for the quarter.

The group’s total operating expenses for the quarter increased 23.2% to RM889.32 million from RM721.72 million.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, AAX said as a result of a weakening ringgit, the group had recognised unrealised forex loss on borrowings of RM67.7 million and fair value loss on fuel hedging contracts of RM107.2 million in 4QFY14 compared with a loss of RM19.9 million and gain of RM5.5 million respectively in 4QFY13.

In addition, depreciation of property, plant and equipment doubled to RM43.4 million in 4QFY14 as the group took delivery of four new A330-300 aircraft under finance lease after the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

For the full year ended Dec 31, 2014 (FY14), AAX reported a bigger net loss of RM519.35 million compared with RM88.27 million although revenue rose 27.3% to RM2.94 billion from RM2.31 billion in FY13.

The airline saw its scheduled flights revenue (net of refund) including fuel surcharges increase 10.4% to RM1.83 billion in FY14 against RM1.66 billion in FY13, on the back of increased available-seat-km (ASK) capacity.

AAX’s revenue per ASK capacity (RASK) reduced 0.3% from 12.06 sen to 12.02 sen in FY14 due mainly to the lower average passenger fares as the group introduced more promotional fares on newly launched routes during the year, and load factor was flat at 82% versus 82.1% in FY13.

It said both Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Benyamin Ismail, who were appointed group chief executive officer (CEO) and acting CEO respectively on Jan 30, as part of an ongoing reorganisation exercise, will lead the turnaround exercise to strengthen the group’s balance sheet and maximise profitability.

Their appointments followed the departure of CEO Azran Osman-Rani.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 25, 2015.

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