Finnair reported its results for the first quarter this morning. Turnover was up by 10.9% during the period and the airline’s operational loss was reduced by nearly half, totalling €25 million. Passenger load factor rose to 76.2% from the corresponding figure of 72.6% last year. Finnair’s fuel costs in January-March increased by 26.2% compared to the first quarter of 2011. President and CEO Mika Vehviläinen described the results as a “positive development”.
“The comparison period in 2011 was exceptional, largely due to the effects of the Japanese tsunami of March 2011. However, sales growth in the period under review was primarily achieved in European markets through more efficient capacity utilisation and successful campaign pricing. The market situation has been slightly better than we anticipated, with the exception of the predicted rise in fuel costs.”
He continued: “While we can be satisfied with the growth of our business in the first quarter, our operating result was still negative at -25.0 million euros. This means that we must achieve significant improvements in profitability. Our aim is to return to profitability as quickly as possible through a strategy focused on Asian traffic, leadership in the Nordic region and partnerships.”
Speaking about the outlook for 2012, Vehviläinen said that continuing uncertainty, the seasonal variation in demand and high fuel prices will be reflected in the operational results for the first half of the year, which he estimates will be “significantly loss-making”. But the results for the second half should reflect improved profitability.
[photo courtesy Finnair]