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SAS doubles Q1 net loss

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CEO Gustafson points to “inadequate profitability”
SAS has posted a bigger first-quarter net loss than anticipated, more than doubling the figure for the same November-January period a year ago.
It revealed a SEK 556 million (€58.2 million) loss for the period, compared to SEK 246 million the previous year.
“We are putting a seasonally weak quarter behind us, which, as expected, was worse than the preceding year. The inadequate profitability emphasises the importance of SAS mobilising to address the cost disadvantages that we have compared with more recently established competitors,” said Rickard Gustafson, president and chief executive.
“Accordingly, we are working on the details of further measures to create long-term competitiveness and profitability.”
The loss came despite an 8.2% rise in revenue for the quarter rose to SEK 9 billion. Expenses increased 12.7% to SEK 9.5 billion, producing an operating loss of SEK 577 million, more than triple the year-earlier SEK 186 million figure.
Traffic rose 18.9%, but unit revenue declined 5.6% and currency-adjusted yield fell by nearly 12% to a “historically low level”.
“Overall, we foresee a large number of activities ahead, aimed at reducing the cost gap between SAS and more recently established competitors. This, combined with the establishment of new bases in London and Spain, will prepare for a strong SAS that can leverage all of the […] growth opportunities that exist in our market,” Gustafson assured.
ATW

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