Malaysia Aviation Group Flies High, Posts Turnaround in Operating Profit

  • Operating Profit stands at RM556mil from - RM767mil a Year Ago
  • Record Net Profit After Interest and Tax of RM1.146bil in Q42022
  • Net operating profit of RM556mil for full year 2022 with 2 consecutive quarters of operating profit
  • 272% improvement in EBITDA at RM+1.61bil compared to +ve RM433mil a year ago
  • Passenger traffic and capacity increased by 5.7X and 6.9X YoY
  • Strong load factor of 81% in Q42022 and average load factor of 75% for 2022

Civil Aviation

New Delhi: It’s been a remarkable period for the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) as flying high – it recorded one of its best-ever quarter performances over the past two decades. The Group’s phenomenal quarterly performance is attributed to a host of factors including robust demand, higher yield across passenger and cargo business segments as well as effective cost management and cash flow optimization. This comes despite higher fuel prices and labour costs, weaker ringgit (MYR) and lower than pre-pandemic flight capacity levels.

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The MAG, in a media release, declared that it has achieved record net profit after interest and tax of RM1.146bil in Q422. For full year 2022, the Group has registered a net operating profit of RM556mil, while the net loss after interest and tax for the year reduced 79% to RM344mil from RM1.65bil a year ago. Cash balance stood at RM4.6bil at end 31 Dec 2022. The Group, meanwhile, also saw improvement across all its business segments during the year.

Cargo subsidiary, MABkargo Berhad (MABkargo) recorded marginally weaker performance compared to a year ago amid softening of global freight demand and increased capacity in the market in the 2H22. Main airline, Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s (MAB) total revenue tripled compared to the year before, underpinned by strong demand on the international sector for both passenger travel and cargo freight.

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Elaborating on the outlook, Group Managing Director, Captain Izham Ismail said MAG has emerged from the COVID-19 on a strong financial footing and is charting an upward financial trajectory. “However, there are still many areas for improvement especially in OTP and customer experience,” he said, adding: “The Group is fully committed to addressing these gaps and delivering an unparalleled customer experience.”

Travel demand outlook, Captain Ismail noted, remains strong in the near term, although macroeconomics environment remains very challenging with sustained high fuel prices, volatile forex, higher operating costs due to inflation, labour constraints, recession and geopolitical risks.

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Significantly, with China’s border reopening in January 2023, MAB aims to regain the remaining capacity for its entire network which currently stands at 85%, and fully recovering services to China and North Asia by the end of 1H23.

“This will spur economic growth between Malaysia and China, boosting the overall business and trade links between the two countries,” Captain Ismail added. In line with its Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 and continuing the growth of Firefly jet operations, MAB will be transferring in phases intra-Borneo services and Kota Kinabalu international services to Firefly, as a result of continued positive demand recoveries across all the markets.

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“Amal plans to ramp up capacity by at least 10% in 2023 to meet surging in demand where total Umrah traffic today has exceeded pre-Covid-19 level and Hajj quota is back to normal level,” he pointed out. “Amal will look into inducing demand in Malaysia as well as exploring opportunities outside Malaysia as part of its long-term growth plan.”

In terms of fleet, MAG looks forward to taking delivery of four out of 25 Boeing 737-8 from 3Q23 onwards, which will see it deliver operational improvement directly with lower fuel cost and improve total network efficiency.

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The Group, said Captain Ismail, continues to accelerate its Sustainability Blueprint agenda in all sectors, inspiring positive change through various initiatives. In addition to supporting the United Nations’ 13th SDG (Climate Action), these initiatives target three other SDGs: Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), and Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

MAG FY2022 Performance YoY

Operational Highlights

Airline Business

  • MAB achieved breakeven at operating profit level, an exceptional turnaround from operating loss of RM612mil a year ago.
  • Passengers carried was 6.7X higher than previous year with load at 62% higher while yield declined by 16% with more capacity deployed.
  • MAB On-time Performance (OTP) is down at 82%, compared to 89% a year ago.
  • MAB recorded a slight downtrend in Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), which was 79% Year to-Date (YTD) compared to 84% in 2021 with the airline’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) reduced to +31 points in 2022 compared to +54 points in 2021. The airline faced challenges with its OTP and customer experience during the year and is committed to improving its performance in these areas with the immediate formation of a Customer Experience Taskforce comprising key business units including Engineering and In-flight Operations.
  • In 2022, MAB has refurbished eight B737-800 NG aircraft to include new lighter seats, interior and introduced MH Studio, an innovative wireless in- flight entertainment onboard.
  • In partnership with Qatar Airways, MAB doubled its capacity between Kuala Lumpur and Doha with a second daily nonstop flight in August 2022, in response to high passenger demand on this route. With this MAB was able to further grow its network and connect to more destinations in North America, Europe and Africa.
  • Firefly maintained in loss position for 2022, on the back of weak yield and demand for both ATR and jet operations. Firefly resumed jet operations from the Penang hub on 11 April 2022 with daily return flights from Penang to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
  • Amal recorded its first year of profit from a loss position a year ago with the resumption of Hajj/Umrah travels
  • MABkargo’s performance remains strong amid weakening of cargo demand in Q42022. MABkargo achieved higher CTKM by 17% against target and maintaining its yield year on year. MAB Engineering continue to gain traction and performed well with third party revenue now contributing to 30% of its revenue.
  • AeroDarat Services recorded an improvement of 66% on its financial performance year on year. The number of flights it handled doubled during the year compared to a year ago.

Loyalty & Travel Services

  • Enrich, MAG’s loyalty business segment more than doubled its revenue during the year with higher flight redemptions as the Group resumes flights to more destinations during the year.
  • Journify, an integrated one-stop lifestyle digital platform representing the e-commerce and travel services business portfolio of MAG saw a good traction recording 10.04 million new customer traffic on its website.