AirAsia X's 4Q net profit more than doubles on higher passenger volume

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): AirAsia X Bhd’s (AAX) net profit more than doubled to RM84.41 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 (4QFY17) from RM39.01 million a year ago, supported by a 12% growth in passenger volume.

Earnings per share rose to 2 sen versus 0.9 sen in 4QFY16. Quarterly revenue also increased 4.3% to RM1.22 billion in 4QFY17, from RM1.17 billion in 4QFY16.

This was despite a higher other operating expenses of RM149.73 million in 4QFY17 – which included a provision for doubtful debts of RM11.8 million – compared with RM109.32 million in 4QFY16.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the long-haul, low-cost airline said ancillary revenue per passenger increased by 4% to RM142 year-on-year in 4QFY17. 

"The seat load factor was at 83%, which was 2 percentage point higher than the same period last year. However, average fare was down by 8% at RM519, compared with RM565 achieved in 4QFY16," it added. 

The improved quarterly results lifted AAX's net profit for full FY17 to RM98.89 million, more than doubling from RM44.84 million the previous year. Revenue was also up 17% to RM4.56 billion, from RM3.9 billion in FY16.

Based on the current forward booking trend, AAX said forward loads and average fares are trending better than the previous year.

"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to terrorist attacks, natural disasters, epidemics, economic downturn, fuel price hike and fluctuation in foreign currencies against the ringgit, the company expects its prospects to remain positive," AAX added.

AAX shares closed up 0.5 sen or 1.25% at 40.5 sen today, with 28.91 million shares done, bringing a market capitalisation of RM1.68 billion.