Thai Airways returns to black in 3 mths to June on robust foreign demand

Bangkok (XFNews-ASIA) - Flag carrier Thai Airways International said it returned to profit in the three months to June after a loss a year earlier, with the help of robust demand from foreign tourists.

Net profit for the quarter stood at 473 mln baht, reversing a net loss of 4.78 bln baht in the same period last year, the airline said in a statement.

Despite a surge in fuel costs, the company's revenue rose 13.4 pct year-on-year to 42.1 bln baht, while pretax profit stood at 665 mln baht, against a pretax loss of 6.85 bln baht a year earlier.

"We returned to the black and posted a sharp increase in revenue due to a rise in the number of foreign passengers," a senior company official said.

Of the airline's total sales, revenue from international flights accounts for 93 pct, with the rest from domestic routes, the official said.

"Our performance really depends on foreign demand," he said, adding Thai Airways filled 74.2 pct of seats in the April-June quarter, up from 67.3 pct a year earlier.

Fuel costs during the quarter jumped 21.1 pct year-on-year to 14.8 bln baht, the company said.

In the nine months to June, the airline's net profit more than doubled to 10.5 bln baht from 4.4 bln baht a year earlier. The company's current fiscal year started from October 2005.

The government has forecast some 13.6 mln foreign tourists will visit Thailand this year, with Asians making up 60 pct of the total.

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