PETALING JAYA: Ailing Malaysia Airlines (MAS), whose parent Khazanah Nasional Bhd is due to unveil sweeping changes under a much-awaited turnaround later today, painted a bleak picture for its outlook.
The national carrier yesterday saw its net loss sink to RM307.04mil for the second quarter ended June 30, almost double the RM175.98mil loss posted a year ago.
This would be its sixth straight quarter in the red since end-2012. Revenue dipped 5.05% to RM3.59bil from RM3.78bil, while loss per share fell to 1.84 sen versus 1.30 sen.
And things look set to get worse.
“The full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 is expected to hit MAS in the second half of the year, where we saw a sharp decline in average weekly bookings by 33% immediately after the MH17 incident with numerous flights cancelled,” embattled MAS said in a filing with the stock exchange.
The airline’s load factor tumbled 6.7% for the quarter to 73.7% compared with 80.4% in the previous year. MAS carried 4.2 million passengers in April to June.
Fuel expenditure grew 10% to RM1.53bil on the back of higher fuel prices and a weaker ringgit.
For the six months through June, its net loss widened to RM750.43mil from RM454.81mil in the same period last year, as turnover slumped 1.74% to RM7.19bil from an earlier RM7.32bil.
Loss per share stood at 4.49 sen versus 4.41 sen previously.
The group turned negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as at June 30 to RM134.1mil compared with a positive EBITDA of RM258mil last year.
Its cash and bank balances dwindled to RM2.5bil from RM3.87bil as at end-December 2013. Net cash from operations slipped into the red at RM818.7mil from a positive net cash position last year.
For the year-to-date, MAS blamed the 2% decrease in operating revenue to RM6.87bil and 3.5% and 6% decline in load factor and yields to “poor market sentiment” due to the disappearance of flight MH370 and intense competition both domestically and internationally.
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment rose to RM459.6mil, and finance costs were higher at RM240.9mil. The group, however, recorded foreign exchange gains of RM52.8mil compared to currency losses of RM89.7mil in the previous period.
On March 8, flight MH370, which departed Kuala Lumpur for Beijing using a B777 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, disappeared from radar just an hour after take-off.
Despite a multi-nation search-and-rescue effort, the largest in aviation history, there is still no trace of the aircraft.
MAS said search operations were ongoing in the southern Indian Ocean where the aircraft was suspected to have last flown.
Several months later on July 17, flight MH17, also using a B777 aircraft, departed Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
The plane was allegedly shot down by a surface-to-air missile amid rebel clashes and went down in eastern Ukraine, killing all on board.
Next-of-kin of the passengers for both flights MH370 and MH17 were entitled to compensation, which would be covered by aviation liability insurance, the airline said.
The amounts payable were not expected to have a significant impact on its financials, MAS added.
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