SAS assures profits as share trading resumes

Scandinavian Airlines, SAS, rumoured to be verging on bankruptcy, assured on Tuesday that it expected to report a quarterly profit, triggering a surge for its shares.

SAS assures profits as share trading resumes

The ailing airline said it would launch a restructuring programme, after media speculation prompted a suspension of trading in SAS shares.

When trading was resumed after the statement, the shares rallied by 16.24 percent in a market that was 0.26 percent higher.

“Following numerous rumours in Scandinavian media, SAS announces that it will report on November 8 a positive result for the third quarter, with a pre-tax profit of 568 million kronor ($85.2 million),” the group said in a statement.

Scandinavian media have speculated recently over whether SAS would file for bankruptcy, which the company has denied.

The group said in Tuesday’s statement that it had “liquid funds equivalent of 2.4 billion kronor” and available credit facilities worth 4.7 billion kronor.

“The company is currently finalizing a comprehensive plan to fundamentally address its cost on a long-term basis, to increase cost flexibility, reduce complexity and also reduce for the effect of the potential equity write down in 2013 due to pension accounting changes,” it said.

“A board decision on the plan is expected to be made and subsequently communicated within the near future.”

SAS has posted four full-year losses in a row between 2008 and 2011, and incurred a first-half loss of 409 million kronor in the first half of this year.

AFP/The Local/og

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‘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.