Thai Airways Turns To Net Profit In Q4

February 29, 2016

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

Net profit was THB5.4 billion baht (USD$151 million) for the October-December quarter, compared to a net loss of THB6.2 billion baht a year earlier, chief financial officer Narongchai Wongthanavimok said.

For 2015, the airline posted a net loss of THB13 billion baht (USD$364 million), narrower than the THB15.6 billion baht net loss in 2014.

Total operating revenue fell 1.2 percent last year to TB188.7 billion baht, while operating expenses dropped 11.2 percent.

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 THB2 billion baht (USD$56.1 million) on voluntary retirements this year, on top of the THB5 billion paid out last year.

Cabin factor is also forecast to rise to 80 percent in 2016 from 72.9 percent in 2015, as the airline plans to launch new routes to Russia and Southeast Asia this year, and resume flights to the United States next year, he said.

Revenue is expected to fall 4.6 percent 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 Airways is one of several state-controlled companies undergoing reform since the military seized power in May 2014.

(Reuters)