Malaysia Airlines narrows loss for 2012

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Malaysia Airlines has narrowed its net loss for 2012 to M$433 million ($140 million), down from the massive M$2.5 billion loss it incurred in 2011.

Revenue for the year dropped to M$13.8 billion from 2011's figure of M$13.9 billion. Total expenditure for the period dropped by 13% to M$14.1 billion, mainly as a result of reduced capacity.

This resulted in an operating loss of M$361 million, a significant improvement from the M$2.3 billion loss in 2011.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, the group swung to a profit of M$51.4 million from the M$1.28 billion loss registered a year ago. This is the second consecutive quarter of profit for the flag carrier, following six consecutive quarters of losses.

In the quarter, operating profit stood at M$44 million, against an operating loss of M$1.3 billion a year ago.

"The massive swing from a M$1.3 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2011 to a profit of M$51 million achieved in the 2012 quarter shows that our business plan is working," says its group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

The carrier's latest results is a drastic change from a year ago, when group chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof declared the carrier to be "in crisis".

A key contributor to the financial improvement is its route rationalisation programme, which led to a 6% drop in capacity in 2012, says the carrier.

In 2012, MAS received 18 aircraft comprising seven Boeing 737-800s, seven Airbus A330-300s and four A380s as part of its fleet renewal programme, which will see deliveries till 2017. This allowed the carrier to save M$1.8 billion in 2012 on aircraft maintenance, fuel and leasing costs.