The Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways today reported a stand-alone net profit of Rs 467 crore for the three months to December, a multi-fold growth from Rs 63 crore a year ago, driven by higher traffic and lower fuel costs.
For the second-largest airline, this is the third consecutive quarter of profits and a record in recent years. The carrier said the robust numbers further validate its turnaround plan, which was unveiled after its part equity sale to the UAE carrier Etihad in 2013.
Chairman Naresh Goyal attributed “the record profit to the overall strong financial performance arising from several initiatives undertaken to improve productivity and efficiency”. He also said had it not been for the forex losses, net income would have been Rs 515 crore.
Jet Vice-Chairman, and President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways James Hogan said “we are very satisfied with the operating and financial performance of Jet that has resulted in record profits. We remain committed to providing solid support and driving further synergies between the two partners”.
Etihad owns 24 per cent in Jet.
Revenue improved Rs 266 crore to Rs 5,702 crore while passenger revenue rose 4.8 per cent to Rs 4,845 crore, from Rs 4,621 crore.
While domestic capacity went up 14.6 per cent, passenger traffic grew 15 per cent. The international capacity clocked a growth of 2.6 per cent while growth in passenger traffic stood at 5.1 per cent. Higher passenger traffic and increased aircraft utilisation also led to a higher average seat per km (ASKM), which helped improve both operating and financial performance.
The airline, in a statement, said its pre-tax profit (Ebidta) quadrupled to Rs 751 crore during the reporting period.
Attributing the better numbers to all-round improvement in performance, the airline said its domestic ASKM grew 24 per cent even without any addition of new aircraft. Aircraft utilisation for the Boeing 737 fleet continues to rise and reached 13.07 hours in the reporting period, which it claimed is one of the highest in the industry.
A focus on cost reduction initiatives has resulted in the non-fuel cost per ASK coming down by 4.6 per cent while total cost per ASK declined 15 per cent.