AirAsia announces special dividend of 90 sen a share

PETALING JAYA: Shareholders of AirAsia have been showered with 90 sen per share special dividend, which is worth more than RM3bil in total payout.

The dividend is equivalent to 34% of dividend yield from the last traded price of AirAsia’s shares at RM2.63, before it was suspended yesterday.

The cash splash became possible after the airline group sold its 25 aircraft to US private investment firm Castlelake LP in a deal worth US$768mil (RM3.22bil) last year.

AirAsia had, on April 10, dished out 12 sen per share or RM401.04mil dividend to its shareholders, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

For the first quarter ended March 31, AirAsia posted a 92% drop in net profit to RM96.09mil compared with RM1.14bil recorded last year, when it recorded extraordinary gains.

The low-cost airline said its results for the corresponding quarter included a gain on the partial disposal of a subsidiary of RM350.3mil, and a re-measurement gain on the retained interest in a former subsidiary of RM534.7mil.

Revenue for the quarter was 13% higher to RM2.88bil from RM2.56bil previously, attributable to an 18% increase in total passengers carried and improvement in load factor of 88%.

AirAsia said its our airline earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) recorded a 6% increase year-on-year to RM678mil, while non-airline EBITDA turned profitable at RM39mil in comparison to a loss of RM7mil in the first quarter of last year.

“The profitability is primarily contributed by Teleport, our logistics business which has begun consolidating the belly space of AirAsia ecosystem in 2018,” it said.

Looking ahead, the group remains positive that the overall core results of the group in 2019 will be better than in 2018, barring unforeseen circumstances.

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