SpiceJet shrinks quarter loss by 32%

No-frills carrier SpiceJet narrowed its losses to Rs 163.52 crore in the quarter to September, and said high fuel costs and currency volatility remain a cause of concern.

The Chennai-based carrier trimmed losses by 32 per cent from Rs 240.07 crore it reported in the same period a year ago, helped by various cost control measures as well as a healthy 57 per cent jump in sales.

Net sales rose 57 per cent at Rs 1,207 crore during the July-September period as against Rs 766 crore in the year-ago quarter, the airline said today.

"Improved yields, coupled with effective cost control, helped the company perform better in the quarter. But fuel costs and a weak rupee continue to be a cause of worry for the sector," SpiceJet Chief Executive Neil Mills said in a release.

International crude prices, which saw some moderation during the previous quarter, firmed up and threaten to got closer to the previously recorded highs although there are some signs of stability at the lower levels, he said.

The fuel cost as a proportion of the revenue stood at a whopping 53 per cent, or Rs 680 crore, of the revenue during the quarter, which was Rs 478 crore in the year ago period, Mills said.

He said the Government, which in September allowed 49 per cent investment by foreign airlines in Indian carriers, is proactively addressing bottlenecks plaguing the aviation sector. "We hope to see better days in the near future."

According to Mills, the sharp improvement in efficiency was due to "better pricing" and repositioning of aircraft on the profitable routes.

Besides a 15.9 per cent growth in passenger numbers, the airline clocked 48 per cent growth in total departures.

SpiceJet, the third largest carrier by market share with 18.5 per cent of the pie in September after IndiGo and Air India, said the average realisation per passenger during the reporting quarter increased 37 per cent.

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