KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 – Low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd was the most actively traded counter in the morning session after posting extraordinary first quarter financial results. At 11 am, AirAsia shares were up 20 sen to RM2.32 with 39.65 million shares traded.
AirAsia in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday announced an almost six-fold increase in its earnings to RM877.8 million for the first quarter from RM149.33 million in the same quarter last year boosted by lower fuel price, higher average fare, growing passenger volume and higher load factor. It said revenue increased 31 per cent to RM1.7 billion while average fuel price dropped 29 per cent to US$56 per barrel from US$79 per barrel a year ago.
The airline said the increase in revenue was also supported by a 17 per cent growth in passenger volume and higher average fare by 11 per cent at RM166 as compared to RM150 in the first quarter last year. Meanwhile, it also added that seat load factor increased 10 per cent to 85 per cent from a year ago while ancillary income per passenger improved by five per cent to RM50 year-on-year.
Moving forward, the airline said it expects the strong demand to continue in the second quarter with average load factor to increase to 88 per cent helped by the recovery in demand from Chinese travellers. It said the number of Chinese guests flying into various points in Malaysia jumped 37 per cent for the first quarter of the year. The airline also foresees the momentum to sustain throughout the year.