SAS posts first profit since 2007
Last year's deal to save 2.8 billion kroner reversed the airline's fate
SAS announced this morning a 149 million kroner profit for 2013, after posting a 2.7 billion kroner loss the year before.
It is the airline's first profit since 2007 and SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson said the success was accomplished despite a weak economic trend and intensified competition.
“We can be proud of the improvement in full-year earnings [but] developments in the fourth quarter underlined the speed at which conditions change in the airline industry,” Gustafson said.
He pointed out that SAS has faced increased competition on its routes, but that the airline became more competitive by increasing its own capacity by six percent and decreasing operating expenses by 7.1 percent.
Last November, SAS employees and executives negotiated a deal in which staff took pay cuts and agreed to work longer hours in order to save 2.8 billion kroner annually.
SAS has divested large parts of its business, including ten percent of SAS Ground Handling to the Switzerland-based company Swissport and completing the sale of the regional airline Widerøe, which increased liquidity and reduced its debt by around 1.7 billion kroner.
SAS also completed the renewal of its fleet by phasing out 46 aircraft so that when it launches 43 new routes in 2014, it will be running a modern fleet.
“The past year has been extremely intense. Through the solid commitment and hard work of all employees, SAS has now delivered, in line with targets, positive earnings for the full year," Gustafson said.