AirAsia, Asia's largest budget airline by passengers, reported full year profit more than tripled, beating expectations, thanks to the share sale of its Thai business.
AirAsia reported full-year profit of 1.88 billion ringgit ($606.65 million), higher than the average forecast of full-year profit of 775.7 million ringgit in a Thomson Reuters poll of 20 analysts.
Core net income was slightly higher at 858.23 million ringgit in 2012 from 850.70 million a year earlier mainly on higher passenger volume and average fare.
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AirAsia said in its accounts it booked a gain of 1.16 billion ringgit for the Thai AirAsia share sale last year.
AirAsia is shifting from a period of rapid expansion into new markets and placing jet orders to build a modern fleet, to taking delivery of those planes and focusing on making its routes profitable.
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The Malaysian company competes against Indonesia's Lion Air to dominate cheap air travel across the continent, and multi-billion-dollar orders from both have boosted aircraft sales at Airbus and Boeing.
AirAsia's next move is a planned joint venture with Tata Sons to start flying in India later this year, a market the airline has described as the "final piece of the puzzle".
"The main focus for the next few years will still be the three core markets - Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia," Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said in a statement on Tuesday. "Then grow Japan and Philippines in a way it will be profitable."
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The stock was down 1.1 percent at the close of trade on Tuesday, before results were announced, compared with a 0.2 percent fall in the index.