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THAI Q2 loss deepens to B5.2bn

Thai Airways International Plc says its net loss in the second quarter deepened to 5.2 billion baht, from 2.9 billion a year earlier, due mainly to a jump in currency-exchange losses.

For the first half, the flag carrier reported a net loss of 2 billion baht (0.94 baht a share) compared with a profit of 3 billion (1.41 baht a share) in the same period last year, it told Stock Exchange of Thailand late on Friday. For the second quarter, its operating loss narrowed to 1.5 billion baht from 1.78 billion a year earlier.

Total revenue in the second quarter rose 9.6% year-on-year to 45.2 billion baht because of an increase in passenger and excess baggage revenue from a 21.9% rise in passenger traffic, despite a drop in the average passenger yield due to intense price competition, the company said in a statement.

Total expenses rose 8.6% to 46.7 billion baht, due to an increase in fuel expenses (4.5%) resulting from a rise of 20.1% in the average jet fuel price.

But the biggest hit to its bottom line during the period was currency-exchange losses of 2.4 billion baht. It also booked losses from the dilution of its shareholding in Nok Air Plc (428 million baht) and the impairment of assets and planes (390 million baht). 

During the second quarter, THAI carried 5.87 million passengers, up 14.9%, for a cabin factor of 78.5% compared with 69% in the same period last year. 

In the first half, revenue rose 3.9% year-on-year to 95 billion baht while expenditure climbed 8.9% to 93.7 billion.

Acting president Usanee Sangsingkeo said that in the latter half of this year, THAI would begin four weekly Bangkok-Vienna services on Nov 16. It will also take delivery of five new planes -- three Airbus A350-900XWBs and two Boeing B787-9s -- while decommissioning two of its A330-300s.

The company will also take part in the development of the U-tapao airport, aiming to make it the most modern aviation repair hub in Asia Pacific, she said.

THAI shares closed unchanged at 18.70 baht in trade worth 50 billion baht before the announcement was made on Friday.

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