SpiceJet reports fourth quarter 2009 and annual results – moves closer to break even

New Delhi based low cost carrier SpiceJet reported it’s fiscal 2009 fourth quarter (ending March 31, 2009) and annual results.

Despite a 13% increase in operating income to Rs. 16.894 billion ($344.77 million) annual net losses for the year grew by 165% to Rs. 3.53 billion ($73.4 million). Operating expenses excluding interest, depreciation and taxes, grew 42.3% to Rs. 21.127 billion ($439.5 million).

Total annual income was 27% higher at Rs. 18.13 billion ($1.28 billion), but fuel costs for the year rose 34% to Rs. 9.45 billion ($196.59 million). The rising US Dollar also contributed another Rs. 231.76 million ($4.8 million) in foreign exchange losses.

SpiceJet also took a one time charge of Rs. 188 million ($3.91 million) when it entered into a court approved Memorandum of Settlement with its erstwhile promoter S K Modi Group to settle various ongoing litigations with them.

However, continuing improved quarterly results shows hope for the airline getting back in the black in the coming months.

Quarterly operating income rose 4% to Rs. 4.167 billion ($86.68 million) and losses narrowed 1,584% to Rs. 78.29 million ($1.62 million) compared to Rs. 1.236 billion ($25.71 million) in the same quarter a year ago. Fourth quarter operating expenses showed a drop of 19.5% to Rs. 4.313 billion ($89.72 million) primarily driven by a change in accounting procedures which caused a reversal in foreign exchange gain/loss and fuel costs which fell 34% to Rs. 1.545 billion ($32.14 million).

The rapid rise of the US Dollar versus the Indian Rupee is highlighted in Dollar denominated costs; aircraft leases rentals are up 20% and aircraft maintenance up 46.5%.

For the quarter ending March 31, 2009, SpiceJet also posted the following results:

  • 10.3% growth in passenger traffic from 1.238 million to 1.367 million
  • 5.2 % growth in number of flights from 9,667 to 10,170
  • 39% reduction in Fuel cost per Available Seat Kilometre from Rs. 1.27 to Rs. 0.77

While announcing the quarterly results, Sanjay Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer said,

“We are happy to report a significant improvement over last year’s results. While the overall aviation demand in India dropped 13% in this quarter, SpiceJet experienced an increase in demand of 10.3%. SpiceJet’s market share for the quarter was 12%. This growth continues to reinforce success of SpiceJet’s business model of providing affordable and high quality air travel. On the unit cost front, our cost was 4% lower versus last year, excluding the volatility in fuel prices and currency.”

The airline offers 125 flights to 18 Indian cities daily with a a fleet of 15 Boeing 737-800 and four Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. It expects to take delivery of another nine 737-800s at the rate of one per quarter from middle of 2010 to end of 2012. It is also exploring launch of international services in May 2010 to south-east Asia, aouth Asia and the gulf states.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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