Jet profit nosedives; Satyam net on a high

New Delhi, Mumbai, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:54am hrs
Indias largest private carrier Jet Airways reported a 34% decline in Q3 net profit to Rs 40 crore, down from Rs 61 crore in Q3, 2005-06. Total revenue for the quarter grew 35.4% to Rs 2,030 crore. During the current fiscal, this was Jets first quarterly net profit after it posted net losses of Rs 45 crore and Rs 55 crore in Q1 and Q2, respectively. But for a profit of Rs 48.4 crore generated from sale and subsequent lease-back of one Boeing 737 aircraft in October, Jet would have incurred a net loss in Q3.

Jet Airways executive director Saroj Datta attributed the profits in Q3 to the peak air travel season and profitable international operations. Load factor increased from 65% to 70% in the quarter traditionally the peak season for airlines. Fuel costs, which account for 35% of operating costs, were down 11%, giving the company savings of around Rs 50 crore. International operations are doing well, especially the London route, he said. Jet also registered a system-wide 3,184 million revenue passenger kilometres, up 31.6% over the Q3 in 2005-06. On decline in profits, Datta said that since capacity addition has surpassed demand, it would take time for the aviation industry to stabilise again. Domestic operations accounted for 78% of revenue (Rs. 1,584.5 crore).

Satyam Computers Services Ltd (SCSL) has reported a Q3 net profit of Rs 337.23 crore, up 25% from Rs 269.74 crore in Q3 of 2005-06. Services income was at Rs 1,661.12 crore, against Rs 1,265.29 crore for the corresponding period last year. Though the exchange rate did not move in our favour coupled with strong rupee behaviour, we still managed to do well, B Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman, said at a press conference here on Friday. However, Q3 saw an increase in the contribution of consulting and enterprise business solutions, which is 42% of the revenue, he said. On account of reduced cost of delivery and operational efficiency, EBITDA margins expanded by 200 basis points.

Asked about the stronger rupee and rising pricing pressures in the services sector, Raju told FE that margin enhancement is impressive, some of the best in the last five to six years. We are not assuming any alarming situation due to Rupee appreciation, we will be enhancing our margins and pursue more offshore deals, he said. Further, there has been a marginal increase in the prices for new deals. We are commanding better pricing and have graduated from stable to better pricing. We are now able to negotiate and renegotiate on prices, he said, adding that there has been a 3-4% improvement in pricing, especially for new contracts.