KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia-based AirAsia, the region’s biggest budget carrier by fleet size, Friday reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 554 million ringgit ($132 million) due to the performance of its Malaysian unit and lower fuel costs.
AirAsia’s boss Tony Fernandes, a former record industry executive, said in a statement the carrier looked at 2016 in “a positive light,” with the expected arrival of more Chinese tourists after Kuala Lumpur relaxed visa requirements.
Fernandes also said Malaysia was benefiting from the weaker (ringgit) currency environment, with foreign tourists viewing the Southeast Asian country as a value for money holiday destination.
Quarterly revenue jumped 47 percent, from 1.48 billion ringgit to 2.17 billion ringgit, thanks to a 10 percent year-on-year growth in the number of passengers carried at 6.47 million.
AirAsia posted net losses of 406 million ringgit in the third quarter ended September 30 2015.
For the full year to December, AirAsia’s profits rose to 541 million ringgit from 83 million ringgit the previous year, it said in an exchange filing.
AirAsia’s CEO Aireen Omar said in a statement: “It was a very good quarter indeed for the Malaysian operations.”
Its Malaysian unit recorded a “record breaking” quarter, with a 229 percent surge in year-on-year net profit to 554.20 million ringgit.
Shares in AirAsia, however, dipped 3.47 percent to 1.39 ringgit on Friday.
AirAsia had earlier announced that the number of passengers it carried increased 12 percent year-on-year to 13.5 million, ahead of the six percent increase in capacity.
At the end of 2015, AirAsia’s total fleet size stood at 170 aircraft, flying to around 100 destinations across more than 15 countries.