Air Mauritius Slumps to 3-Year Low After $37 Million Loss

Air Mauritius Ltd., the second-worst performing stock this year on the country’s bourse, fell to its lowest in more than three years after the airline swung to a loss in fiscal 2012.

The stock retreated for a second day, down 3.6 percent to 10.70 rupees a share at close in Port Louis, the capital, the weakest level since May 2009. Volume of shares traded was almost four times the stock’s 3-month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The carrier, which is sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth biggest airline, posted a 29.6 million euro ($37 million) loss in the 12 months through March 2012, compared with a profit of 10.75 million euros a year earlier, acting Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen told reporters.

“It’s clear that the stock fell because of their poor results,” Bhavik Desai, a research analyst at the city-based Axys Stockbroking Ltd., said in a phone interview today.

Air Mauritius announced an eight-point restructuring plan this year to return to profits by March 2014. It includes reshuffling flights by stopping the weekly, long-overhaul routes to Europe, searching for a strategic partner and re-fleeting with more fuel-efficient aircrafts, Viljoen said.

“Should the restructuring plan be successful, it would seem that they would return to profitability within the next couple of years, assuming that the euro doesn’t crumble,” Desai said.

The state-owned carrier is the only listed domestic company in the country to report its financial statements in euro terms. The rupee has strengthened 16 percent against the euro since June 2009 as the global economic slowdown and the region’s debt crisis has weighed heavy on the currency.

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