MAHB’s 2Q net loss widens

By ANIS HAZIM & NURUL SUHAIDI/ Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd’s (MAHB) net loss for its second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (2Q21), has widened to RM226.09 million from RM91.07 million last year, due to higher depreciation and amortisation, a decrease in other income and a marginal increase in operational expenses. 

Its revenue, however, increased by 18.8% to RM323.42 million in the quarter from RM272.18 million a year ago, driven by higher passenger volumes, especially in Turkey, compared to the corresponding effect of full airport closure in April and May 2020 for the Turkey operations. 

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, MAHB noted that its revenue from airport operations increased by 15.4% to RM275.4 million. 

“Turkey operations showed signs towards normalisation as passenger traffic had increased from 600,000 to 4.8 million passengers, while Malaysia operations improved to 1.3 million passengers compared to 800,000 passengers in the corresponding quarter in the prior year,” the airport operator said. 

Aeronautical segment revenue also increased to RM153.3 million from RM45.6 million in the same period last year. 

“The non-aeronautical segment revenue, however, decreased by 36.8% to RM122.1 million due to absence of royalty and lower commercial rental revenue for Malaysia operations,” it added. 

Revenue from its non-airport operations increased by 43.3% to RM14.5 million on higher revenue from the project and repair maintenance, agriculture and hotel businesses. 

MAHB is optimistic for traffic to restart at least for the domestic sector traffic as high record daily vaccine doses administered in Malaysia to date. 

“In other regions of countries, there were some early signs of a cautious cross-border traffic arrangement, allowing vaccinated travellers to travel with some standard safety measures including digital health pass and testing prior to departures or upon arrivals that would facilitate the prospect for air connectivity restart and cross-border travel,” it said. 

MAHB noted that runway 1 of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) was recently fully rehabilitated and given the full checkmark to operate by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia ahead of any traffic recovery. 

For its Turkey operations, MAHB said the Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (ISG), has shown recovery in the first half of 2021 with total passenger traffic movements standing at 53% of pre-covid- 19 levels. ISG recorded an average load factor of 70% for its flights. 

Airports Council International (ACI) had also ranked the airport as the fourth busiest in Europe within the same period. 

MAHB noted that 51% of Turkey’ population has completed vaccination and strong traffic return would remain in 4Q21, according to the International Air Transport Association. 

Turkey was recently included in the European Union’s Covid-19 passport scheme, making commercial and social activities, including travel, easier. 

MAHB is optimistic domestic travel would improve in the coming quarters amid impressive vaccination rates achieved in Malaysia and Turkey. 

“With this, we can expect traffic conditions to improve as interstate border restrictions may be further relaxed by year-end,” group CEO Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said in the statement. 

ACI, under Airport Health Accreditation, has endorsed ISG followed by four airports in Malaysia namely KLIA, Kuching International Airport, Langkawi International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport. 

MAHB would continue to take pre-emptive measures such as an aggressive cost optimisation plan to go through the challenging period. 

These measures include recalibrating operational efficiencies such as rebasing cost and prioritising capital expenditure to conserve cash reserves and meet its financial and operational obligations. 

The group had also achieved a reduction of 13% of the core operational expenses for the current quarter compared to the corresponding period last year. 

MAHB shares closed 4.81% higher, or 28 sen, to RM6.10 yesterday, valuing the group at RM10.12 billion.