SAS fourth quarter results disappoint

SAS reported a pre-tax loss of 24 million kronor during the fourth quarter of 2007, down from a profit of 456 million kronor for the same period a year ago.

SAS fourth quarter results disappoint

On average, analysts had expected the company to post a profit of 230 million kronor, according to Reuters.

Fourth quarter sales totaled 1, 322 million kronor, an improvement of 3 million kronor for the corresponding quarter last year.

For the year as a whole, SAS produced profits of 1, 052 million kronor.

The airline’s fourth quarter losses resulted in large part from the decision to ground its entire fleet of 27 Dash planes.The planes were grounded in October due to safety concerns following a series of incidents.

The grounding resulted in losses of 700 million kronor, 500 million of which was booked in the fourth quarter.

SAS was also hit by a number of strikes in 2007 which cost the airline around 200 million kronor.

Losses from the Dash-grounding are expected to cost SAS an additional 700-800 million kronor in 2008.

In addition to SAS’s ongoing savings measures, the company hinted at additional cost saving measures in 2008 due to weaker economic conditions.

SAS leadership expects weaker demand in its home market of Northern Europe due to a weakening economy.

High fuel prices will also put pressure on profits in 2008.

The results sent SAS shares down 9.5 percent to 55.00 kronor in early trading on the Stockholm exchange.


‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.