Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Indigo posted an impressive net profit of Rs 986 crore together for the quarter ended March 2016. Their combined net loss was Rs 1,190 crore in the same quarter last year. The figures indicate a healthy rebound for the avaition industry.
India is set to become the third largest aviation market in the world by 2020, according to an industry report presented at the India Aviation Conference in Hyderabad in March this year.
Figures show airline stocks are looking stronger in the present market scenario. The benchmark BSE Sensex plunged over 4 per cent in the past one year till May 26, 2016, while shares of Jet Airways and SpiceJet soared 65 per cent and 248 per cent, respectively, during the same period. InterGlobe Aviation, or IndiGo, shares surged 13 per cent from the day of listing in November 2015 till May 26, 2016, whereas BSE Sensex gained 2 per cent during the same period.
Jan-March period of 2016 remained a turnaround quarter for Jet Airways and SpiceJet. Jet Airways reported net profit of Rs 397.16 crore for the quarter ended March 2016 against net loss of Rs 1728.99 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. The company also declared a highest ever annual profit in its history for the year ended March 31, 2016, and thereby achieved return to profitability a year earlier than the target set in its turnaround plan two years ago. The consistently strong financial performance has enabled Jet Airways to reduce its debt by Rs 1,680 crore during FY16.
Pankaj Pandey, head of research, ICICI Securities said, “We like airline space because we don’t see intense competition on the fare side and demand continued to rise with passenger traffic growth has been in excess of 20 per cent. In addition, fall in aviation turbine fuel also improved operating profitability of airline stocks in the recent past.”
Post Q4 results, Naresh Goyal, chairman, Jet Airways in a release said, “Jet Airways has been revitalised as a business in the last two years. Our focused efforts have resulted in significant improvement in operational performance leading to record profitability. Overall, the Indian aviation industry is witnessing a growth phase.”
SpiceJet reported net profit of Rs 9.49 crore against net loss of Rs 38.84 crore during the same period. According to Prabhudas Lilladher, Passenger Load Factor remained high through Q4FY16 for SpiceJet and is expected to continue the same trajectory through FY17. The brokerage house has buy rating on SpiceJet shares with a target price of Rs 115.
InterGlobe Aviation reported flat growth in net profit at Rs 579.31 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 against Rs 577.3 crore inthe same quarter last year.
Overall, air traffic has been posting more than 20 per cent growth over the past six months with travel demand in April surging to 20.93 per cent over the same month of 2015 driven by lower fares. According to market experts, robust economic growth, capacity addition, record passenger growth and narrowing rail-air fare discount will support aviation industry going forward.
However, on rising crude oil prices, G Chokkalingam, founder, Equinomics Research and Advisors said, “Rising crude oil price will definitely put some pressure on IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and other airline companies for the next two quarters.” On a year-to-date basis, crude oil price jumped 34 per cent to $49.74 per barrel on May 25, 2016.