New Delhi: SpiceJet Ltd, India’s second-largest budget airline, said fiscal first-quarter profit more than doubled to Rs.149 crore from a year earlier. The airline had reported a net profit of Rs.73 crore for the same quarter last year.
This is the sixth consecutive profitable quarter for SpiceJet after the airline nearly shut down and was revived under a new management. “We have made great progress,” chairman Ajay Singh said after the results were announced on Wednesday. “The balance sheet has been significantly cleaned up.”
Unlike in most cases, where profits have come from a reduction in fuel payments, SpiceJet results came on the back of better revenue. The airline’s revenue increased to Rs.1,521.53 crore from Rs.1,113 crore a year earlier, the airline said in a statement.
All other costs for the airline rose, including fuel, employee benefits, aircraft lease rental and maintenance among others.
This change was also because SpiceJet, which had shrunk its fleet earlier, added planes gradually over last year to revive itself, cornering nearly 13% of the domestic market in the quarter ended 30 June.
Singh said the company has accumulated losses of Rs.2,482.75 crore against shareholder funds of Rs.1,593.75 crore (this includes the funds from former promoter Kalanithi Maran) which are getting cleaned up every quarter.
The airline also maintained its plans to place large aircraft orders soon. “I don’t want to rush. This is a order we will live with for a several years time. We are in talks with both Airbus and Boeing and by October we hope we will be able to finish the process,” Singh said.
SpiceJet operates 298 daily flights to 41 destinations with its fleet of 28 Boeing 737NG and 14 Bombardier Q-400s planes.
It will add three Boeing planes and three Bombardier short-haul planes in the next few months. No existing aircraft are scheduled to be returned owing to end of lease, Singh said.
Singh hit out at rival airlines. saying they were dumping capacity. “We feel some of the airlines are dumping capacity and reducing fares but we don’t want to get into that to the extent that we can avoid it,” Singh said, adding the airline plans to grow profitably and will find “smart ways” to expand.
Some of SpiceJet’s rivals reported lower profits in what is considered a typically good quarter for travel, to be followed by a weak September-quarter.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, owner of India’s biggest low-cost airline IndiGo, posted a 7.3% fall to Rs.591.77 crore in net profit for the June quarter due to cheaper fares and higher expenditure.
Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s net profit fell 53%, hit by higher operating expenses and lower sales. Net profit dropped to Rs.103.14 crore in the quarter from Rs.221.7 crore a year ago.