AirAsia reports 150% growth in Q3 profits

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Malaysia's AirAsia has reported a 150% growth in third quarter profits after tax on stronger revenues.

The low-cost carrier made 327.3 million Malaysian ringgit ($104.3 million) in the three months to 30 September, up 150% from the 130 milion ringgit that it earned a year before.

Revenues were 33% higher at 987.6 million ringgit, while costs grew by 5% to 510.7 million ringgit. Its operating profit rose 87% to 430.8 million ringgit.

These figures include contributions from Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia, in which the Malaysian company has a 49% stake each. It also has a 16% share in the long-haul low-cost airline AirAsia X.

Thai AirAsia reported a net profit of 530 million Thai baht ($17.6 million) during the quarter, compared to a loss of 403 million baht a year before. Revenues were 46% higher at 2.87 billion baht on higher passenger volumes, a higher contribution from ancillary income, and improving yields.

Indonesia AirAsia posted an after tax profit of 191 billion Indonesian rupiah ($21.4 million), up 226% from a year before. Revenues were 31% higher at 784 billion rupiah. Apart from increased traffic and ancillary income, higher base fares also helped the airline.

The Malaysian parent airline's RPKs grew by 27% during the quarter. Capacity, as measured by ASKs, were 11% higher. Thai AirAsia's RPKs were 16% higher and its ASKs grew by 17%. Indonesia AirAsia's RPKs increased by 19% and its ASKs were 12% higher.

Looking ahead, the airline says that the outlook was positive for all three businesses.

"Based on the current forward booking trend, the underlying passenger demand in the fourth quarter for the Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian operations remains positive. Load factors achieved in the month of October were ahead of the prior year for all three carriers, and there are continued improvements in yield, compared to the prior year," says the airline.

AirAsia hopes to list the Thai and Indonesian associates in their respective stock exchanges in 2011, while AirAsia X is also expected to be listed in Malaysia next year.