October 24, 2018 / 10:51 AM / 8 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-India's InterGlobe Aviation posts Sept-qtr loss as fuel costs, weak rupee bite

(Corrects to say IndiGo is India’s largest airline by market share in sixth paragraph)

Oct 24 (Reuters) - IndiGo owner InterGlobe Aviation Ltd posted on Wednesday its first quarterly loss since its stock market debut in November 2015 as higher crude prices and a weaker rupee pushed its costs higher.

Airline profits in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market have been dented by a surge in crude oil prices and a depreciating rupee, with InterGlobe’s rival Jet Airways Ltd struggling to keep itself afloat.

“Aviation in India is facing significant pressures from high fuel costs, rupee depreciation and intense competition, all of which have impacted our profitability this quarter,” Chief Executive Officer Rahul Bhatia said in a statement.

InterGlobe reported here a loss of 6.52 billion rupees ($89.1 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, while revenue from operations rose 16.9 percent.

Total expenses soared 58.2 percent to 75.02 billion rupees, with aircraft fuel expenses surging 84.3 percent and foreign exchange loss widening over seven-fold.

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, expects a 35 percent rise in third-quarter available seat kilometres, a measure of the airline’s passenger carrying capacity.

Shares of the low cost carrier closed up 1.6 percent, while the broader market ended 0.8 percent higher. ($1 = 73.1850 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Arnab Paul in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Amrutha Gayathri)

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