TAA, Bangkok Airways post healthy profits

TAA, Bangkok Airways post healthy profits

Thai AirAsia (TAA) and SET-listed Bangkok Airways (BA) finished 2015 with lofty increases in profits, driven primarily by plunging fuel prices and robust travel demand.

But it was a different story for SET-listed Nok Air, which posted a net loss of 1.66 billion baht last year due to fiercer-than-expected competition and a big loss at its cash-strapped joint-venture airline NokScoot.

Asia Aviation Plc (AAV), the SET-listed firm that owns 55% of low-cost carrier TAA, posted a record net profit of 1.08 billion baht, up by 490% from only 183 million in 2014.

TAA itself posted a net profit of 1.99 billion baht, also a record high, up by 494% from 335 million in 2014.

Full-service Bangkok Airways enjoyed a net profit of 1.84 billion baht, up by 380% from the previous year.

Nok Air suffered losses of 733 million baht from its own operations and 938 million from its affiliated operations, mainly long-haul budget carrier NokScoot, which posted a 1.22-billion-baht net loss for the year.

Bangkok Airways president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth attributed his airline's improved financial performance to a 7.5% increase in passengers carried (numbering 5.1 million), a rise in the average fare and lower fuel costs.

The "boutique airline" saw revenue growth of 12.6% to 24.9 billion baht.

Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of both AAV and TAA, singled out Thailand’s political stability as a major contributor driving the companies' positive outcome.

TAA's 2015 revenue amounted to 29.5 billion baht, up by 16%.

Mr Tassapon credited the good performance mainly to a 22% increase in passengers numbers to 14.8 million.

While capacity grew by 19% year-on-year, TAA increased its load factor by one percentage point from 81% last year.

Nevertheless, TAA's average fare in 2015 fell by 3% to 1,667 baht a passenger.

Nok Air's negative results last year came despite a 10.1% increase in revenue to 13.4 billion baht and an 11.1% increase in passenger numbers to 7.95 million.

BA shares closed yesterday on the SET at 22.90 baht, down 20 satang, in trade worth 150 million baht.

AAV shares closed at 5.35 baht, down 45 satang, in trade worth 412 million baht.

NOK shares closed at 7.05 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 16 million baht.

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