Malaysian low-cost carrier group AirAsia recorded a 139 million ringgit ($40 million) increase in second quarter profit but warned it is likely to delay more aircraft on order.

In the three months ending 30 June it made a 139 million ringgit net profit compared to 9 million ringgit the corresponding period last year, AirAsia says to the Malaysia stock exchange.

Revenue rose 8% to 657 million ringgit from 608 million ringgit, it says.

The airline also managed to cut the cost of its sales by 29% to 312 million ringgit from 439 million ringgit.

A break-down of the results shows the profits were due almost entirely to its Malaysia operations.

AirAsia X, its long-haul operation, had revenue of 278 million ringgit and 68 million ringgit earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and rent.

Thai AirAsia in the quarter made a loss of 81 million Thai baht ($2 million) with revenues falling 2% to 2.03 billion baht from 2.06 billion baht.

It has made some quarterly profits recently and in the second quarter increased passenger numbers by 10% to 1.1 million.

But AirAsia says the second quarter is seasonally weak and margins on fares have fallen.

Indonesia AirAsia, meanwhile, made a net loss of 65 billion rupiah ($7 million) even though it increased passenger numbers 47% year-on-year and kept its passenger load factor constant at 75% despite adding more aircraft. Revenues, meanwhile, rose 36% to 452 billion rupiah from 333 billion rupiah.

AirAsia's results also show its Malaysia outfit increased its passenger numbers in the quarter 24% year-on-year to 3.5 million from 2.8 million.

RPKs rose 23% year-on-year and ASKs rose 22% so the passenger load factor remained unchanged at 75%.

AirAsia earlier this year announced it was delaying the delivery of eight A320s due for delivery in 2010 and now says it is "very likely to defer an additional eight in 2011."

The "new delivery schedule is more conducive for current environment," it adds.

AirAsia says it forecasts that AirAsia's passenger growth in this year's second half will be similar to the first half.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news