Jet Airways Group posts Q3 profit after tax of Rs931m

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India's Jet Airways Group swung to a third quarter profit after tax of Rs931 million ($17.6 million) from a loss after tax of Rs1.23 billion a year ago.

The group's overall revenue increased by 5.5% to Rs47.7 billion, while its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring (EBITDAR) margin increased by 13.9 percentage points to 20.1% for the quarter ended 31 December 2012.

Jet Airways' revenue rose by 6.6% to Rs42.5 billion, while the carrier's EBITDAR increased to Rs8.66 billion. It posted a profit after tax of Rs850 million, a reversal of the loss after tax of Rs1.01 billion a year ago.

Meanwhile, its low-cost subsidiary JetLite posted a profit after tax of Rs81 million versus a loss after tax of Rs216 million a year ago. Its revenue for the quarter was Rs5.19 billion, while its EBITDAR rose by 71% to Rs825 million.

JetLite achieved a seat factor of 75.6% in the third quarter of the fiscal year.

Domestic passenger traffic for Jet Airways as measured in RPKs decreased by 13% for the quarter compared with the same period last year and this resulted in a load factor of 72.7%. International passenger traffic for the carrier, meanwhile, fell by 5.1% for the quarter and this resulted in a load factor of 78%.

"All of our efforts on revenue, costs and network side have resulted in turning around the airline operations. This is despite higher fuel prices and rupee depreciation impact that we have had in the last few months. The combined impact of higher yields and lower costs [ex. fuel] have resulted in significantly lowering the breakeven seat factor levels in the business," says Jet Airways chief executive Nikos Kardassis.

"We continue in our endeavour on cost-cutting measures, exploring various avenues of ancillary revenue and process improvements across all segments of the business, which will help us improve the business further. At Jet Airways ,we remain committed to consistently improving our legendary warmth, service, reliability and courtesy delivered by an attentive staff to ensure that we achieve customer delight."

In its outlook, the carrier says that capacity induction has slowed down over the past months, thus helping airlines to maintain higher yields. This, together with the weak economy, has affected growth in the industry, but the higher yields will help to improve the airline's breakevens in the short to medium-term.