SAS Group narrows first-quarter loss to $60 million

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Published: May 11, 2011

SAS 737-700. Photo: By Rob Finlayson.

SAS Group reported a first-quarter net loss of SEK373 million ($ 59.6 million), narrowed from a SEK712 million net deficit in the year-ago period. Despite the loss, SAS maintained its guidance for a full-year pre-tax profit, but it cautioned that achieving the result has become “significantly more challenging” owing to “the recent sharp increases in jet fuel prices.”

It added, “The future bookings situation appears relatively favorable and provided that … fuel surcharges increasingly offset the higher jet-fuel prices in the second half of 2011, there are good prospects for the SAS Group to achieve positive income before tax for full-year 2011.” First-quarter pre-tax loss was SEK554 million, narrowed from a pre-tax loss of SEK972 million in the 2010 March quarter.

President and CEO Rickard Gustafson, who assumed his post on Feb. 1, stated, “The first quarter of 2011 was a quarter dominated by continued economic recovery and the favorable economic trend is expected to continue in 2011, particularly in the SAS Group’s home market. Growth is expected to be strongest in Sweden and Norway, but lower in the euro countries … Overcapacity remains in certain markets, particularly on European routes from Denmark and in the Swedish market.”

First-quarter revenue fell 2.8% to SEK9.22 billion and operating loss was SEK407 million, narrowed from an operating deficit of SEK762 million in the year-ago period. SAS Group’s first-quarter consolidated scheduled passenger traffic increased 3.4% year-over-year to 5.66 billion RPKs on a 7.3% lift in capacity to 8.53 billion ASKs, producing a load factor of 66.3%, down 2.5 points.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines posted a first-quarter operating loss of SEK327 million, narrowed from an operating deficit of SEK661 million in the year-ago period, on a 4% drop in revenue to SEK8.09 billion.

As of March 31, SAS Group operated an in-service fleet of 192 aircraft led by 65 Boeing 737NGs.

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