February 27, 2019 / 10:13 AM / in 22 days

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia swings to a loss in Q4 on fuel, lease expenses

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Reuters) - AirAsia Group Bhd on Wednesday said it flipped to a net loss for the fourth quarter, sinking deeper than market expectations, as escalating fuel prices and operating lease expenses put a dent in its performance.

Malaysia’s flagship budget airline posted a loss of 395 million ringgit ($97.19 million) for the three months to Dec. 31 versus a 372.6 million ringgit net profit a year prior.

The result compared with the 63.2 million ringgit loss estimated by one analyst according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue grew 6.2 percent to 2.82 billion ringgit.

Passenger numbers swelled 16 percent to 12.1 million, trailing a capacity increase of 21 percent. ($1 = 4.0640 ringgit)

Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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