THAI turns to net profit in Q4

THAI turns to net profit in Q4

Q4 net profit B5.4bn vs loss of B6.2bn

The THAI logo is pictured at its office building in central Bangkok on Feb 29, 2016. (Reuters photo)
The THAI logo is pictured at its office building in central Bangkok on Feb 29, 2016. (Reuters photo)

Thai Airways International Plc said it had returned to profit in the fourth quarter, shrinking its 2015 loss as a restructuring that reduced operating costs and boosted passenger revenues bore fruit.

Cost cutting and expanding its customer base will remain the focus of the flag carrier this year, president Charumporn Jotikasthira told reporters, adding the airline would spend 2 billion baht on voluntary retirements this year, on top of the 5 billion baht paid out last year.

Cabin factor, or the number of seats sold out of total seats available, is also forecast to rise to 80% in 2016 from 72.9% in 2015, as Thai Airways planned to launch new routes to Russia and Southeast Asia this year, and resume flights to the US next year, he said.

Thai Airways is one of several state-controlled companies undergoing reform since the military seized power in May 2014.

Net profit was 5.4 billion baht for the October-December quarter, compared to a net loss of 6.2 billion baht a year earlier, chief financial officer Narongchai Wongthanavimok said.

For 2015, the airline posted a net loss of 13 billion baht, narrower than the 15.6 billion baht net loss in 2014. Total operating revenue fell 1.2% last year to 188.7 billion baht, while operating expenses dropped 11.2%, it said in a statement.

Revenue is expected to fall 4.6% over the next 12 months, making it the only airline in emerging Asia Pacific to post decline in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters SmartEstimates.

Thai Airways will take delivery of two new planes this year, another seven in 2017 and five more in 2018, the president said.

THAI shares climbed 2.56% to 12 baht at 4pm on Monday in a market down 0.34%.

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