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SAS reports billion kronor loss

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09:24 CEST+02:00
Scandinavian airline SAS has reported a loss of 972 million kronor ($135 million) for the first quarter 2010, slightly lower than the 979 million kronor the troubled firm posted in the corresponding period of 2009.

The firm reported operating revenue of 9.5 billion kronor, down 16 percent on the 11.3 billion posted last year.

Volcano-related flight chaos has had a negative impact on SAS results (for the second quarter) of 460 million kronor, up to and including April 21st, a figure which is growing at a rate of 50-90 million kronor per day.

CEO Mats Jansson concluded that the fallout from the volcanic ash disruption is likely to have a serious impact on the whole airline sector in 2010. Yield determines the profitability per passenger.

"With the exception of the recent events, there is indication of an increase in demand in SAS markets, but there remains significant uncertainty over yield developments," he writes in a company statement.

The firm reported that it had implemented almost two-thirds of its planned 7.8 billion kronor savings programme, known as Core SAS, with an earnings effect of 750 million kronor in the first quarter.

"Despite insecurity over possible additional effects on our operations as a result of the volcano ash we are continuing to implement Core SAS according to plan," Jansson wrote.

SAS, which is majority owned by the states of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, has previously announced a 5 billion kronor rights issue and confirms in its report that the main conditions for the principal owners' participation have been satisfied.

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