New Delhi:SpiceJet Ltd, India’s second largest low-fare carrier, posted a smaller loss in the quarter ended 30 September compared with a year earlier as it improved sales by more than half and cut costs.
The airline’s loss narrowed to Rs.163.52 crore in the three months from Rs.240.07 crore in the year-ago period. Sales rose by 57% to Rs.1,207 crore from Rs.766 crore in the same period.
Chief executive officer Neil Mills said improved yield, coupled with effective cost controls, helped the company perform better in what has been a traditionally weak quarter for the airline business.
“Increase in international operations and an improved fleet management helped us deliver better numbers for the quarter. Fuel costs and weakened Indian rupee continue to be a cause of worry for the aviation sector,” Mills said.
The fiscal second quarter is traditionally a lean period for airlines because of the monsoon; the third and fourth quarters are the strongest because of festivals and holidays that spur travel.
SpiceJet had been expected to post a loss of Rs.128.3 crore in the second quarter on revenue of Rs.1,261.4 crore, according to a Bloomberg survey of six analysts.
Jet Airways (India) Ltd, the nation’s second largest airline by passengers carried, also posted a smaller second quarter loss of Rs.99.67 crore, compared with Rs.713.63 crore in the year-earlier period. Its sales rose 25.6% to Rs.4,137.63 crore in the quarter ended 30 September.
Kingfisher Airlines Ltd’s loss widened to Rs.753.55 crore in the September quarter from Rs.468.66 crore in the year-ago period owing to high finance costs and costs associated with the grounding of planes, among others. Revenue at the airline, which has had its licence suspended after sharply curtailing its flight schedule and failing to pay employees for several months, plunged to Rs.200 crore from Rs.1,552.87 crore a year ago.
On Monday, shares of SpiceJet Ltd ended at Rs.36.35 a piece on BSE Ltd, up 2.68% from the previous close, while India’s benchmark Sensex index fell 0.07% to 18,670.34 points. SpiceJet’s results were announced after market hours.