Thai Airways on track for 'respectable' net profit in FY2012

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Thai Airways International is on track to post a net profit for the fiscal year 2012, driven by a strong final quarter.

The airline's president Sorajak Kasemsuvan says cost-cutting measures and higher aircraft utilisation rates will take the airline to a full year profit.

"So far, we have cut costs by about 10% across the board already, and this year we will end up with respectable profit," he says.

This would be in contrast to 2011 when it recorded a net loss of baht (Bt) 10.2 billion ($333 million) as its results were severely affected by severe flooding in Bangkok and political unrest in Thailand.

After recording a Bt1.53 billion net loss in the second quarter of this year, the airline said it might not be able to meet its goal of returning to profitability this year. However, Kasemsuvan says the airline has seen an improvement towards the end of the year, which will help to bring it into a small profit for the full year.

"It's safe to say that this quarter, we are doing slightly better than projected," says Kasemsuvan.

The airline has a goal of increasing revenue by 12% next year, which will be driven by growth in its low-cost, full service regional carrier Thai Smile and also, a refocusing of the mainline airline on long-haul, widebody services.

Kasemsuvan adds that he is hopeful that the airline will be able to achieve "a slightly bigger profit margin next year".