Increased MRO, leasing and fuel costs hit Aeroflot in Q1 2018

Aeroflot The main drivers behind revenue growth were a 5.4 per cent increase in traffic, and a 4.6 per cent higher RPKs (Aeroflot)

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot posted a net loss of 8.75 billion rubles in the first quarter of 2018, double that of the same period last year, according to the airline’s latest financial statement (Russian accounting standards).

The January to March period is traditionally the airline industry’s lowest season, the carrier explains, whilst also blaming the negative influence of market factors “amid lagging, although improving, yield dynamics,” says a statement.

At the same time, Aeroflot’s revenues climbed 7.3 per cent reaching 94.195 billion rubles, with the main growth drivers revealed as a 5.4 per cent increase in passenger traffic numbers to 7.4 million passengers, and 4.65 per cent improvement in RPKs (to 21 billion pkm).

The period’s gross losses rocketed to almost six times that of last year’s Q1, hitting 11.594 billion rubles, whereas cost-of-sales almost doubled to 21.255 billion. Administrative and overhead costs also increased, up 7.1 per cent year-on-year.

Aircraft leasing and maintenance expenses in particular affected the airline’s financial performance, as Aeroflot added 41 aircraft in the last 12 months, bringing its total fleet size to 232. This expansion also contributed to a 23.8 per cent increase in fuel costs, a factor which was also affected by a 17 per cent increase in the cost of kerosene “against the backdrop of a significant growth in the price of Brent crude (average price in US dollars per barrel increased in 1Q 2018 by 23.1 per cent,” the airline reveals.

Aeroflot’s long-term liabilities at the end of Q1 stood at 12.611 billion rubles against 11.054 billion at the end of 2017, and showed an increase in its short-term obligations from 94.730 billion rubles in December 2017 to a current 114.979 billion.

Overall in 2017, Aeroflot posted a net growth of 28.444 billion rubles (according to Russian accounting standards), up 21.7 per cent year-on-year. Its revenue grew 4.4 per cent to 446.649 billion rubles, reflecting a 13.3 per cent rise in passenger traffic and “the effect of exchange rates from income in foreign currencies.”

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