Malaysia Airlines posts RM2.52b quarterly loss

(Bernama) – Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) recorded a net loss of RM2.52 billion, on the back of RM13.9 billion in revenue, for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2011.

For the fourth quarter, the national carrier recorded RM1.28 billion in net loss, on a turnover of RM3.68 billion, said group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

He said the bottom-line group losses for 2011 underscored the imperative need for the airline to immediately adopt strong measures to stop the “bleeding”.

“This includes staff redeployment, increasing productivity and efficiency, relentless cost control and making further reviews.

“We are also implementing an aggressive sales and marketing strategy,” he told a press conference here today.

Ahmad Jauhari said the group’s full year performance was severely impacted by a 21% increase in expenditure of RM16.2 billion, from RM13.41 billion in 2010, previously.

He said the higher expenditure was due to a 33% increase in fuel cost of RM5.85 billion and a 15% increase in non-fuel expense of RM10.43 billion.

The rise in non-fuel expense was mainly due to provisions totalling RM1.09 billion made in the fourth quarter for stock obsolescence, redelivery of aircraft and impairment of freighter aircraft.

Ahmad Jauhari said the accounts for the year under review recognised provisions and escalating operational costs which, although painful, provided a holistic snapshot of the organisation and full knowledge of the company’s actual position.

For the full year, Malaysia Airlines saw capacity (available seat per kilometre) increase seven percent, passenger traffic up five percent but lower seat factor reducing to 75%.

He said revenue and average fares across all classes showed improvement throughout the year, particularly in the front-end cabins.

However, there was an overall drop in seat factor as the airline strived for better yields.

On a regional performance basis, the domestic and short-haul, intra-Asean services continued to be key markets for the company, with these segments reporting positive growth on a quarterly, as well as, on a year to-date basis, he added.

Meanwhile, the cargo division suffered in line with an overall slowdown of the industry, globally.

Revenue dropped 14%, capacity decreased nine percent while yield increased two percent.

Ahmad Jauhari also said MASkargo recorded a loss before tax of RM19 million in 2011 compared with a profit of RM141 million in the previous year due to higher fuel costs and impairment of its A330 freighter fleet.