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Thailand's AOT Q2 to March net profit 449 mln baht vs 3.73 bln

Bangkok (XFN-ASIA) - National airport operator Airports of

Thailand (AOT) said its second-quarter net profit nosedived nearly 90 pct to

449 mln baht in the three months to March from 3.73 bln in the same period a

year before due to a drop in foreign exchange gains and depressed sales from

duty-free shops.

AOT, which runs six airports including Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport, said it was its worst quarterly earning performance.

The figure was down by 87.9 pct year-on-year and the airport operator blamed a drop in foreign exchange gains for the falling profit.

"A decrease in foreign exchange gains led to a drop in net profit," the company said in a statement, adding foreign exchange gains dropped 1.4 bln baht during the quarter.

The baht, which last year soared nearly 12 pct against the dollar, remains at nine-year highs against the US currency and was quoted at 34.55 to the unit.

AOT said profit also plunged due to falling sales from King Power, Thailand's only duty-free retailer, but added its revenue increased 14.4 pct year-on-year to 4.89 bln baht thanks to air traffic growth.

In the six months to March, the airport operator said its net profit dropped 82.5 pct year-on-year to 1.22 bln baht but revenue rose by 9.2 pc to 9.0 bln baht.

Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, which opened in September last year, has a capacity of 45 mln passengers per year.