SpiceJet's Q4 net loss climbs over 73% to Rs321 cr; annual loss hits a record Rs1,003 cr

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has reported a net loss of Rs321.51 crore for the last quarter of the 2013-14 financial year, a 73.1 per cent increase from its net loss of Rs185.71 crore for the quarter ended 31 March 2013.

Total income from operations during the January-March 2014 quarter increased 8.4 per cent year-on-year to Rs1,589.61 crore from Rs1,466.74 crore, SpiceJet revealed in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

SpiceJet also reported a five-fold increase in its annual loss at Rs1,003.24 crore for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2014, from a net loss of Rs191.07 crore during the previous financial year.

This means that the Kalanithi Maran-owned SpiceJet, which has a 20-per cent share in the domestic market, lost an average of Rs2.75 crore every day that it flew.

SpiceJet attributes the loss to the weak rupee and slow economic growth, which has limited growth in passenger traffic.

''The year ended 31 March 2014 was perhaps the most challenging period in Indian aviation history,'' SpiceJet said in a statement, ''The sharp depreciation of the Indian rupee during the quarter ended 30 September 2013 was unprecedented. Given the fact that over 75 per cent of any Indian airline's cost is influenced by the dollar, the effects of the exchange rates on a broad spectrum of cost heads were crippling.''

Coupled with a slowing economy and softening demand in a market where capacity continued to be added by the industry, SpiceJet is constrained to report an after-tax loss of Rs1,003 crore, the airline said.

SpiceJet said its revenue increased 12 per cent to Rs6,350.61 crore from Rs5,699.78 crore a year ago. But expenses increased 24 per cent to Rs7,303.68 crore from Rs5,893.36 crore earlier. The loss widened despite a 5 per cent increase in the average air fare to Rs4,253 from Rs4,052 in the same period.

In the quarter ended 31 March 2014 its loss rose to Rs322 crore from Rs186 year ago, it said.

"SpiceJet is well into the process of executing a re-structuring and transformation plan to position it well as market conditions improve, and to take on the challenge of new entrants that are expected to enter the market," the carrier said.

The Indian domestic air travel market expanded 4 per cent in calendar year 2013, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).