Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines higher, Qantas and Virgin Blue steady, Cathay eases – Share Wrap

Thai Airways shares jumped a further 4.9% yesterday after Tuesday’s 8% gain, as the carrier reported a better than expected profit in the three months ended 31-Mar-09. Operating profit surged 147.6%, thanks to a 45% fall in jet fuel prices and a massive foreign currency gain (which accounted for more than half of the carrier’s operating profit). The 26.1% plunge in revenue is of concern, reflecting a 20.3% reduction in RPKs.

Singapore Airlines’ shares advanced 1.7%, while rival Qantas was up 0.3% and Virgin Blue was steady. The Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics reports the most extreme period of domestic fare discounting since records commenced in 1992.

Elsewhere, Cathay Pacific shares eased 1.1%. The carrier yesterday confirmed it was notified by Hong Kong health authorities that a passenger on a CX flight from San Francisco on 11-May-09 has since tested positive for swine flu.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 13-May-09

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Extracts from Thai Airways’ Media Release

Thai Airways issued its financial statements for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 on 13-May-09

For the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 (January 1 - March 31, 2009) the decrease in number of outbound and inbound travelers to Thailand, resulting from the ongoing impact on political unrest in the country particularly in the forth quarter of fiscal year 2008 as well as the global economic downturn.

Therefore, the Company reduced flight frequencies to suit the market situation. The Company’ s passenger traffic (RPKs) decreased by 20.3%.

The Company’s total revenues amounted to THB 41,270 million, which is a decrease of THB 14,581 million or 26.1% over the same period last year. The total expenses, excluding a gain on foreign currency exchange, totaled THB 36,365 million, which is a decrease of THB 14,144 million or 28%, mainly due to the reduction of average jet fuel price of 45.2%, a decrease in production and outcome from the ongoing cost control measures to cope with the impact of the crises last year.

In addition, the Company gained on foreign currency exchange arising from translation of the Company’s outstanding loan into Baht terms at the end of period, amounting to THB 4,609 million.  As a result, profit before tax was THB 8,064 million, which is an increase of THB 4,807 million or 147.6% from the same period last year. The net profit was THB 7,869 million or 4.63 baht per share, which is higher than a net profit of THB 2,216 million or 1.30 baht per share of the same period last year. EBITDA was THB 9,512 million.

As of March 31, 2009, total assets for Thai Airways International Public Company Limited and its subsidiary was THB 260,351 million, an increase of THB 817 million from as at December 31, 2008. The Company’s total liabilities totaled THB 206,582 million, which is a decrease of THB 7,070 million. The Company’s shareholders’ equity amounted to THB 53,769 million, an increase of THB 7,887 million.