Accumulate IndiGo For The Long-term, Q4 Result A Short Blip

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo on Wednesday reported a 73% plunge in its profit at Rs 117.96 crore during the March quarter on account of increasing fuel cost, lower yield and volatility in foreign exchange.

The leading no-frills carrier, which last week announced the sudden departure of its President and Whole Time Director Aditya Ghosh, had a PAT of Rs 440.31 crore in the year-ago period. However, the fuel expenses went up to Rs 2,337.71 crore from Rs 1,750.51 crore during the same period previous year, thereby offsetting the profit majorly. The airline reported a foreign exchange loss of Rs 92.5 crore as against a gain of Rs 160 crore in the same quarter past year. On a full year basis, profit after tax of ₹2,242 crore for the year ended March 2018, an increase of 35.1 per cent compared to last year.

Its the total income stood at Rs 23,967.74 crore for last fiscal, compared to Rs 19,369.57 crore in 2016-17.

IndiGo is actively studying the choice of having wide-bodied aircraft and continues to look at opportunities for long-haul flights without Air India, the airline's interim CEO Rahul Bhatia said today. It operates around 1,000 flights daily.

"Results include certain credits received from manufacturers to offset some of the impact of aircraft groundings and delivery delays", IndiGo said in a statement.

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Ghosh is leaving at a time when the airline is changing some of its most successful policies such as moving to a mixed fleet instead of operating a single aircraft class, buying planes outright instead of leasing them, and planning a new low cost, long haul service. However, fuel expenses shot up to Rs 2,337.71 crore in the latest quarter under review from Rs 1,750.51 crore in the year-ago period.

However, IndiGo expects a 25 per cent rise in available seat kilometres, a measure of the airline's passenger carrying capacity, in the year that began on April 1.

The company's Board of Directors recommended a dividend of Rs 6 per share. However, the company would not shy away to take on the rivals with low pricing, as the airline's low-cost structure allows it to sustain temporary costs.

Hours after the market close that day, the airline announced the resignation of Ghosh at 7.56 pm.

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