KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's flagship budget airline AirAsia Group Bhd flipped to a loss in its third-quarter, hit by foreign exchange losses and a writedown in the value of currency and interest rate swaps.
It posted on Wednesday a net loss of 51.4 million ringgit ($12.3 million) for the three-month period ended September, from 915.9 million ringgit net profit in the year ago period.
Revenue was 17.5% higher at 3.1 billion ringgit, however.
In a filing to the bourse, it also recorded a depreciation of right of use of asset, and finance costs for lease liabilities during the quarter.
Among its non-airline businesses, travel and lifestyle arm AirAsia.com and financial services unit BigPay also recorded wider losses.
Cost per unit during the period rose 11% mainly due to increases in maintenance and overhaul, user charges and other operating expenses.
AirAsia recorded one-off gains in the corresponding period last year from the disposal of its remaining stake in a joint venture with travel platform Expedia Group Inc for $60 million, and a 515.4 million ringgit deferred tax asset linked to aircraft disposals during the quarter.
The airline carried 13 million passengers in the three months, 20% higher but load factor - which measures how full planes are - fell 2 percentage points to 84%.
The group said it was positive about ts fourth quarter performance, a seasonally strong period. It is also planning a net fleet growth of 18 aircraft, it said.
The airline received delivery of its first fuel-efficient A321neo this month, that will be operated on populous routes and at airports with infrastructure constraints.
AirAsia has hedged 86% of its fuel requirement for the last quarter of the year at average Brent hedge prices of $60.72 per barrel, and 73% of next year's requirement at $60.22.
($1 = 4.1700 ringgit)
(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)