Despite high fuel prices and a depreciating rupee

Despite adverse factors such as high fuel prices and a depreciating rupee, Jet Airways, on Friday, reported a profit of Rs.24.7 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2012, after having reported losses in five consecutive preceding quarters. In the same period last year, it posted a loss of Rs.123.2 crore.

In a statement, the company said its consolidated revenue grew 31.4 per cent to Rs.5,274.8 crore, boosted by a 10 per cent growth in domestic traffic against an industry growth of 1 per cent. Fuel costs rose 26 per cent to Rs.1,967.4 crore. Foreign exchange losses were Rs.170.3 crore, The company’s EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and restructuring) grew 148 per cent to Rs.825.5 crore. During the quarter, its EBITDAR margins rose to 16 per cent (8.4 per cent). “Fuel cost increase and depreciation in value of the Indian rupee vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar weighed heavily on the industry’s profitability,” the release quoted Nikos Kardassis, CEO, as saying. In fact, the aviation turbine fuel prices per litre were up by 13 per cent over the year-ago period and 3 per cent over the preceding quarter, he said.

Jet Airways maintained its industry leadership with a market share of 27.9 per cent. Domestic operations accounted for 44 per cent of revenues, up 34 per cent at Rs.2,067.7 crore while international operations grew 30 per cent to Rs.2,644 crore.

In its outlook, Jet said, “high crude prices, rupee depreciation and slowdown in economy will impact the operating margins in the short-term. Imposition of higher user charges and levies at Delhi T3 airport will lead to the airline passing on the costs to passengers, which, in turn, may affect the passenger growth and / or ability of the airline to increase fares.”

Mr. Kardassis said the company would strengthen its balance-sheet by bringing down the debt burden by around $400 million during the year through various initiatives. Jet has completed the sale / sale and lease back of two aircraft and two engines in the quarter. During the second quarter, it plans to complete transactions for another 8-9 narrow-body aircraft and over the next few quarters, it plans to double its income from ancillary revenues.

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