SpiceJet posts net loss of Rs 380 million in Q1 on higher fuel cost

A domestic Spice Jet aircraft is seen off the runway | Photo: AP/PTI

Budget carrier SpiceJet posted a net loss of Rs 380.6 million in June quarter, on higher fuel cost, weak rupee and a one-time provisioning of Rs 634 million.

The Gurugram-based no-frills airline had posted a net profit of Rs 1.75 billion in the same period last year.

Its net income rose 20 per cent to 22.77 billion in the reporting quarter, compared with Rs 18.86 billion in the year-ago period, the airline said in a regulatory filing.

SpiceJet is the second domestic carrier to have announced earnings for June quarter so far. Earlier rival IndiGo also reported a whopping 97 per cent erosion in net profit to Rs 0.27 billion, from 8.11 billion in Q1 FY18.

The third listed carrier, Jet Airways, has deferred its June quarter earnings indefinitely amid liquidity crunch.

SpiceJet's fuel bill rose to Rs 8.1 billion during the quarter.

The company has taken a provision of Rs 635 million as an exceptional item on account of an arbitration award that cited interest payable of Rs 925 million and interest receivable of Rs 290 million, it said in a release.

With this one-time provision, the airline has now fully provided for the maximum amount that may be payable under the arbitration award, it added.

"SpiceJet has delivered yet another operational profitable quarter despite surging oil prices and a weak rupee. As we start inducting the new fuel-efficient B737 MAX and the Bombardier Q400, we will be able to significantly reduce our overall costs even as we aggressively expand our network both in India and overseas," said Ajay Singh, chairman, SpiceJet.

Capacity during the reporting quarter increased by 14 per cent, while the growth in passenger yields went up by four per cent, the company said.

Besides, the airline achieved a record domestic load factor of 94.53 per cent during the period, it added.

The airline's stocks ended 0.34 per cent lower at Rs 89.10 apiece on the BSE today, against 0.55 per cent rise in the benchmark.

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