Malaysia Airlines (MAS) posted a profit before tax of RM39.103 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2012, a reversal from the pre-tax loss of RM461.540 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
However, revenue declined to RM3.474 billion from RM3.556 billion.
In a statement, the national carrier said it registered a small operating profit of RM4 million and a net income after tax (NIAT) of RM37 million for the third quarter.
The profit achieved in this quarter was the best performance to date for the national airline following six consecutive quarters of losses, it said.
The operating profit and NIAT for the third quarter compared favorably against an operating loss of RM192 million and a loss after tax of RM478 million in the same period in 2011, it said.
The improvement in performance quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) at the operating level was mainly due to the Route Rationalization Program which saw a seven per cent reduction in ASK (Available Seat Kilometer).
This resulted in a nine per cent decrease in fuel costs and a seven per cent decrease in non-fuel costs in line with capacity cuts.
MAS said fuel spending, which accounted for 38 per cent of its expenditure, fell to RM1.3 billion for the quarter following a nine per cent drop in consumption.
The same quarter also saw a drop in jet fuel price from US$137 per barrel in the third quarter of 2011 to an average US$131 per barrel in 2012, it added.
For the nine months period ended Sept 30, 2012, MAS said its pre-tax loss dropped to RM477.962 million from RM1.209 billion in the same period last year, although revenue fell to RM9.890 billion from RM10.223 billion.
It said the groups operating loss for the period stood at RM405 million compared to a loss of RM975 million in 2011.
Net loss after tax for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2012 improved 61 per cent to RM484 million against a loss of RM1.247 billion in the same period of 2011.
Commenting on the performance, MAS Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said revenue initiatives have started to gain traction in the market, and combined with the improved utilization of the fleet and manpower, the airline is beginning to see the results of all this hard work in the
"We are very encouraged by the improved trend in our financial performance in this third quarter, especially after six quarters of losses," he added.
He said the airline's focus remains to increase revenue and manage costs.
MAS said it carried 3.30 million passengers in the third quarter of 2012.
On Time Performance (OTP) for the quarter averaged 87 per cent and seat load factor was 74.5 per cent compared to 75.9 per cent in the same period last year, it said.
Despite intense competition and sluggish markets particularly in Europe, Revenue per Available Seat Kilometer (RASK) was up marginally by one per cent as a result of improved yield management and pricing segmentation.
Yields improved three per cent in the third quarter of 2012 q-o-q.
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