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(LEAD) Asiana Airlines Q4 loss widens on currency

All News 18:09 February 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS stock prices in last para)

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- Asiana Airlines Inc. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net losses deepened from a year earlier due to increased foreign exchange losses.

For the three months that ended on Dec. 31, net losses widened to 234.8 billion won (US$199 million) from 163.9 billion won a year earlier, Asiana said in a statement.

"Foreign exchange losses resulting from the won's weakness against the dollar are to blame for the quarterly results," a company spokesman said.

The won fell to an average of 1,157.80 against the dollar at the end of 2019 from 1,118.10 at end-2018, according to the Bank of Korea.

This photo taken on April 23, 2019, shows a model of Asiana Airlines' A380 in the lobby of the company's headquarters in Gangseo Ward, western Seoul. (Yonhap)

A weak won drives up an airline's jet fuel purchasing costs and the value of dollar-denominated debts when converted into the local currency.

Operating losses deepened to 204.3 billion won in the fourth quarter from 149.8 billion won in the same period of 2018.

Sales fell 4.1 percent to 1.47 trillion won from 1.53 trillion won over the same period, it said.

On Wednesday, shares in Asiana Airlines rose 2.02 percent to 5,040 won, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.69 percent gain.


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