SpiceJet Ltd. reported losses for the third straight quarter as high aviation turbine fuel prices and a depreciating rupee continued to hurt its operations.
The consolidated net loss widened to Rs 833 crore in the quarter ended September from Rs 570.6 crore a year earlier, according to its exchange filing.
Soaring ATF prices and a depreciating rupee hurt the carrier’s financial performance. Maintenance and repair costs are paid outside of India and in foreign currency.
The low-cost carrier’s net loss on a standalone basis stood at Rs 837.8 crore, compared with a net loss of Rs 561.7 crore in the same period last year.
After adjusting for foreign exchange volatility, the figures would have stood at Rs 577.7 crore, against Rs 568.7 crore last year, the company said.
SpiceJet Q2 FY23 Highlights (Consolidated, YoY)
Revenues up 45% at Rs 1,954.5 crore versus Rs 1,345.4 crore over the same period last year.
Ebitda loss widens to Rs 555.3 crore from Rs 301.3 crore.
Ebitda margin at -28.4% versus -22.4%.
SpiceJet has reported losses in 10 out of the last 11 quarters as did the country’s leading airline IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.
The only profitable quarter for both the airlines was October-December last year, when the festive season led to a surge in air travel.
The aviation sector was one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the country resorted to a nationwide lockdown followed by local curbs to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“The sector has been witness to prolonged challenges, however, the recent enhancement in the ECLGS (Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme) limit to Rs 1,500 crore by the government, recognising these challenges will go a long way in providing the much-needed stability to the sector,” Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said in a release.
While high jet fuel prices and depreciating rupee remain a downer for the industry, the outlook remains positive with a near-to-normal business environment and an upturn in business and leisure travel, Singh said.
The company, which had an industry-leading average load factor of 85% in the quarter, expects to hive off its cargo business in the third quarter, it said in a statement.
Shares of SpiceJet ended 0.5% lower before the results were announced, against a 0.1% fall in the Nifty 50.