KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – AirAsia Bhd recorded a slight decline in net profit to RM1.59 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 (FY17) from RM1.62 billion previously, as deferred taxation soared more than five-fold to RM458.49 million.

However, its net operating profit showed a marginal gain of RM1.59 billion from RM1.58 billion previously, helped by a 226.6 per cent jump in other income to RM799.31 million, the low-cost carrier said in its latest quarterly interim report to Bursa Malaysia.

“Other income” included a RM167.7 million gain on disposal of interest in joint-venture firm Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence Sdn Bhd in the fourth quarter (Q4), as well as an annual net income of about RM180 million through a charter arrangement with PT Indonesia AirAsia Extra.

Revenue for FY17, meanwhile, jumped to RM9.71 billion from RM6.84 billion previously, attributed to an 11 per cent increase in total passengers carried and a corresponding increase in load factor to 88 per cent compared with 87 per cent in 2016.

For Q4, the airline’s net profit eased to RM434.22 million from RM464.73 million a year earlier, while revenue grew 37.2 per cent to RM2.66 billion.

On its prospects, AirAsia said it was optimistic of the Indonesian market as strong demand continued to be seen across most sectors and forward bookings remained strong.

It noted that Thai AirAsia would focus on leveraging the existing strength of the AirAsia network and strengthening its marketing activities on China and India’s routes in the remaining quarters of 2018.

AirAsia India, meanwhile, remains focused on building a footprint in the Indian domestic market with the introduction of new routes and frequency increases while AirAsia Japan focuses on building footprint in the domestic market and connecting to the airline’s existing network within the region.

It said the AirAsia group planned for a net increase of five aircraft through operating leases in the first quarter of this year.

Source: NAM News Network