November 14, 2018 / 8:17 AM / a month ago

SpiceJet posts second quarterly loss on higher fuel costs, weak rupee

A man looks out through a window with an advertisement of SpiceJet Airline, on a commercial building in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 14, 2014. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

(Reuters) - Low-cost carrier SpiceJet Ltd reported its second straight quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by higher fuel costs and a weaker rupee.

Standalone net loss, which excludes results of units SpiceJet Merchandise and SpiceJet Technic, was 3.89 billion rupees ($53.90 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 1.05 billion rupees a year earlier. Aircraft fuel expenses climbed 55.8 percent to 8.45 billion rupees.

A combination of rising oil prices, high fuel taxes, a weak rupee, low fares and intense competition have slashed profits in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market which is clocking 20 percent annual passenger growth.

Rivals Jet Airways (India) Ltd and InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which owns the country’s largest domestic carrier by market share - IndiGo, also reported losses for the September quarter.

SpiceJet, based in Gurugram, said its results were expected to pick up over the next two-three quarters and that it would take deliveries of 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in September-December.

Shares of SpiceJet were up 3.50 percent, while the broader Mumbai market was almost flat.

($1 = 72.1675 Indian rupees)

Reporting By Arnab Paul and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Subhranshu Sahu

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