Jet rides out turbulence to post Q4 profit

Written by Corporate Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: May 26 2009, 07:47am hrs
Cheaper aviation fuel and a restructuring exercise helped private carrier Jet Airways beat market expectations on Monday and post a profit of Rs 52.99 crore for the fourth quarter of FY09, against a net loss of Rs 221 crore in the same period a year earlier. However, net revenues at Rs 2,263.37 crore were down 16% from Rs 2,687.33 crore in the comparable quarter of the previous fiscal.

The company said fuel expenses had been pruned to Rs 593.94 crore for the quarter, vis--vis Rs 1,080 crore. The average rate of aviation turbine fuel for the quarter was Rs 29.67 per litre, which was lower than Q4 FY08 rates by 37.4%, Jet Airways said in a statement.

For the year ended March 31, 2009, the carriers net loss widened to Rs 961 crore, against Rs 653 crore the previous year. Sales were up 23.4% at Rs 13,448.81 crore, against Rs 10,990.72 crore. Shares of the company rose marginally to close at Rs 305.25, up 0.64% at the BSE on Monday. Particularly significant for Jet Airways were huge savings on expendituresbesides aviation fuel, they include employee remuneration, selling & distribution costs and aircraft lease rentalswhich came down to Rs 2,402 crore, against Rs 2,946 crore in Q4 FY08.

The companys statement said it had introduced a slew of cost-cutting measures. It has deferred aircraft deliveries for the next two years and rationalised personnel costs, apart from carrying out route restructuring. In the domestic sector, Jet Airways said it had reduced capacity by 22.3% in Q4 FY09, compared with Q4 FY08.

Going forward, the company expects challenging times in terms of sluggish demand for both domestic and international operations. This is more so on premium segments, thus putting pressure on overall yields of the airline.

Rival private airline Kingfisher is yet to announce its Q4 results.