AirAsia Profit Climbs 43% in Third Quarter

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysian budget airline AirAsia Bhd. (5099.KU) announced on Wednesday a 43% on-year jump in its third-quarter net profit, mainly thanks to foreign-exchange gains and lower deferred-tax expenses.

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Net profit for the July-Septermber period climbed to 505.3 million ringgit ($123.2 million) from MYR353.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier, according to a local stock-exchange filing. This also beat the mean analyst estimate of MYR294.9 million polled by Eikon.

Revenue jumped 45% to MYR2.45 billion during the quarter from MYR1.69 billion a year earlier, on higher passengers carried. Load factor, however, was lower at 87% during the quarter as compared with 88% a year earlier.

AirAsia, Asia's largest low-cost airline by passenger numbers, said it remains optimistic for the final quarter in 2017 despite the travel alert for volcanic activity at Mount Agung in Indonesia.

The airline also said demand remained strong across most sectors coupled with a stable fuel-price and foreign-exchange environment.

AirAsia said it is also planning to add 12 aircraft through operating leases in the fourth quarter.

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The airline projects its average load factor to be 87% in the fourth quarter, with load factor expected to be 88% in Thailand, 84% in India and 72% in Japan.

Shares of AirAsia ended Wednesday 2.9% higher at MYR3.17 prior to the earnings release.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at Yantoultra.Ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 29, 2017 05:14 ET (10:14 GMT)