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Remaining profitable for the seventh straight quarter, SpiceJet today reported its highest-ever quarterly profit of Rs 59 crore in July-September and is in final stages of placing order for nearly 100 planes. The good show of the no-frills airline, which has been registering over 90 per cent load factor for more than a year, primarily came on the back of higher operating margins and lower costs. SpiceJet's latest quarterly profit -- the highest in its decade-old history -- marks an increase of 103 per cent from Rs 29 crore in the year-ago period. "This is (generally) the weakest quarter of the year and despite intense competition in the market, we have performed exceptionally well. We continue to focus on responsible and profitable growth," said Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh in a statement. The airline's revenue rose 35 per cent to Rs 1,400 crore as its capacity grew 38 per cent during the period. Total cost declined 10 per cent over the same quarter last year while average unit fare improved by 5 per cent despite competitive pressure. This is the seventh consecutive profitable quarter after the challenges in December 2014 and the change in management and control, SpiceJet said. "We have resolved practically all our legacy issues and the stage is set for building up our cash reserves and finalising our long-term fleet expansion plans," Singh said. During a conference call with reporters today, he said the airline expects to place order for around 100 aircraft soon. "We are in the final stages of negotiations and documentations...
The process is expected to be completed in next 2-3 weeks," he said. Asked about a possible deadline for sealing the deal, Singh emphasised the need to get the right deal. "I don't want to get bound by a specific timeframe, but we are very close," he said, adding that the order would go to one manufacturer. In the September 2016 quarter, the airline recorded a passenger load factor of 92.3 per cent -- the highest in the industry. The airline's monthly load factor -- an indicator of seat occupancy -- has been in excess of 90 per cent since April 2015. SpiceJet operates 342 daily flights connecting 45 destinations, of which 39 are domestic deploying 31 Boeing 737NGs and 17 Bombardier Q-400s. The stock of the airline rose nearly 2 per cent to close at Rs 65.35 on BSE.
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