SpiceJet lowers FY2013 operating loss despite higher fuel prices

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Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has significantly narrowed its operating loss for its fiscal year 2013 ended 31 March, although its fuel costs rose sharply.

The carrier's full year operating loss came to rupees (Rs) 1.7 billion ($30.5 million) compared with an operating loss of Rs5.5 billion in the previous fiscal year, according to the results statement filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange in the week ended 26 May.

Nonetheless, the carrier's fuel costs rose by 27% to Rs28 billion, with fuel accounting for almost 50% of the carrier's total annual expenses of Rs59 billion.

For its FY2013 fourth quarter, SpiceJet's net loss narrowed to 1.9 billion rupees from 2.5 billion rupees a year earlier, although fourth quarter revenues rose by 31% to 14.6 billion rupees.

The carrier attributed its fourth quarter losses to high fuel prices, weakness in the Indian rupee and a "significant tax burden".

In March, SpiceJet's chief executive told Flightglobal Pro that the carrier plans to diversify away from India's tough domestic market by adding eight international destinations. His goal is to increase revenue derived from international routes to 20% from 7% now.