SpiceJet Ltd, India's second largest low-fare airline, on Friday reported a fourth consecutive quarterly profit for the three months ended 31 December as it managed to fill more seats and benefited from cheaper fuel. Beating estimates, SpiceJet posted a net profit of Rs238.39 crore in the quarter, against a net loss of Rs275.02 crore in the yearago period. It's the highest profit ever posted by Spicejet. Revenue rose 11.34% to Rs1,459.95 crore for the quarter from Rs1,311.17 crore a year earlier. SpceJet's earnings beat estimates in a Bloomberg analyst poll. The company had been expected to post a net profit of Rs104.60 crore on net sales of Rs1,362.40 crore.
The December quarter is the peak season for airlines because of travel during festivals and year-end holidays that fall in the period. SpiceJet's jet fuel expenses fell by 34.80% to Rs366.63 crore because of a slump in the price of crude oil. On Friday, shares of SpiceJet ended at Rs70.85% on the BSE, down 5.03% from the previous close, while the benchmark Sensex rose 2% to close at 24,435.66 points. On Thursday, rival InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, the owner of India's largest and most profitable airline IndiGo, said third-quarter profit rose 24% because of cheaper fuel and buoyant demand for travel on local routes. InterGlobe Aviation, in its first earning announcement since its stock-market listing in December, said net profit rose to Rs657.28 crore for the three months ended 31 December from Rs531.56 crore in the year-earlier period, beating analysts' estimates. IndiGo also reported the highest quarterly profit before tax since its inception.