Thai downplays 2012 profitability target after Q2 loss

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Thai Airways has posted a net second quarter loss of 1.53 billion baht ($48.5 million), undercutting its Q2 2011 loss by 80.6% but falling behind on its stated goal of returning to profitability in the current fiscal year.

For the three months to 30 June, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring (EBITDAR) rose threefold year-on-year to 4.44 billion baht. Consolidated total revenues increased by 6.5% to 48.5 billion baht against consolidated expenses of 51.2 billion baht, which was down 0.6%.

The loss before foreign exchange and income tax was consequentially 2.72 billion baht, though some of this was recouped through the airline's currency positions.

Lower revenues stemmed from extensive promotional activity during the off-peak season as well as in the aftermath of the 2011 floods, Thai Airways says, with special fares having been valid until June 2012. The "unfavourable world economic situation" plus heightened regional competition also posed challenges, it notes.

The airline stresses that its declining second quarter losses over the past five years indicate a steady improvement, but it admits that the earlier target of returning to profitability in 2012 "might not" now be fulfilled.