SpiceJet flies into Rs 24 crore Q2 profit on lower expenses

New Delhi: Staying profitable for the third consecutive quarter, low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Thursday reported a net profit of Rs 23.77 crore in the three months ended September driven by a steep fall in fuel costs and other expenses.

The no-frills carrier, which saw the return of its original promoter Ajay Singh at the helm earlier this year, had a net loss of Rs 310.45 crore in 2014 September quarter.

The airline has flown into the black despite its total income from operations declining over 28% to Rs 1,040.13 crore in July-September of the current fiscal, according to a release. In year-ago period, the same stood at Rs 1,449.94 crore.

SpiceJet benefited from over a 57% drop in jet fuel bill, which fell to Rs 337.78 crore in the quarter under review. In the same period a year ago, the bill stood at Rs 787.71 crore.

Besides, it managed to bring down overall expenses in the latest September quarter to Rs 1,068.05 crore, from Rs 1,749.07 crore in the year-ago period.

“This is the third consecutive profitable quarter for SpiceJet. The airline recorded a load factor of 92.8% for the quarter, the highest in the industry,” the release said.

In line with year-on-year capacity reduction of 34% that was driven by a smaller fleet in late 2014, SpiceJet said revenue for the quarter was down compared with the same period last year.

“Given that this quarter is the most challenging in the year, I am happy that the airline was able to demonstrate an encouraging performance.”

“Our third consecutive profitable quarter since we embarked on the revival process shows that we are on the right track,” SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said.

He also expressed confidence that the airline’s performance would get better as it continues to focus on revenue maximisation, cost reduction and restoring operational reliability and on-time performance back to world-class standards.

On EBITDA basis, SpiceJet posted a profit of Rs 75.2 crore in the 2015 September quarter. In the comparable period, it was a loss of Rs 239.3 crore.

“On EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring) basis, the company reported a profit of Rs 244.7 crore against a profit of Rs 20.3 crore in the same quarter last year. These results reflect a restructuring gain of Rs 65 crore and a currency re-evaluation loss of Rs 23 crore,” the release said.

SpiceJet CFO Kiran Koteshwar said focus in the previous quarter was to ensure that it remained “cash positive in a traditionally weak quarter”.

“We will continue to add capacity to take advantage of the strong growth in the sector, and we will work on measures to de-risk the business model,” he added.