Finnair narrows its second quarter loss, hopes to break even or better for the year

Finnair (Helsinki) reported a second quarter net loss of €6 million, down from a larger 2Q net loss of €23.9 million in the same period a year ago.

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CEO Pekka Vauramo commented on the results:

Our passenger traffic revenue from tickets and ancillary services saw strong growth in the second quarter of 2015, and we achieved a new record in June by carrying more than 37,500 passengers in one day. At the same time, ancillary sales grew by one third from the previous year. Our customers have heartily welcomed the Chicago route as well as our new seasonal summer routes, with demand exceeding our expectations. Furthermore, business travel has picked up noticeably.

Profitability improved significantly, although the operational result still showed a loss of 12.9 million euros. The result improvement is attributed to revenue growth in our core business operations, the progress of cost reduction measures and the decline in fuel prices, which is reflected in our costs gradually due to our hedging policy. The appreciation of the dollar diluted the benefit from fallen jet fuel price and significantly increased our other dollar-denominated costs, but at the same time, the appreciation of our income currencies boosted our revenues particularly in Asia. In addition, our positive performance was supported by the result improvement at Aurinkomatkat Suntours.

While we cannot be satisfied with our loss-making result, our financial position and liquidity are very strong. Our long-haul fleet renewal, which will start this autumn, will significantly improve the cost-competitiveness and customer experience of our long-haul traffic. At the same time, we will continue to focus on increasing our revenue through, for example, ancillary services and product improvements in intercontinental traffic.

We are moving in the right direction and our strategy, which was updated in the spring, is clear. Our goal is profitable growth, which we will be better equipped to achieve once the Airbus A350 aircraft start joining our fleet later this year. They will enable the gradual growth of capacity and substantially reduce our fuel costs on long-haul flights. In addition, we have begun to recruit cabin crew with a view to future growth. Our whole team is enthusiastically preparing for Finnair’s next phase.

Here are the details:

Finnair Plc. Interim report August 14, 2015:

April-June 2015

  • Revenue on a par with second quarter of 2014, at 561.0 million euros (565.7).
  • Operational result improved to -12.9 million euros (-19.6).
  • Operational EBITDAR was 37.4 million euros (35.5).
  • Net cash flow from operating activities stood at 88.4 million euros (69.2), and cash flow from investments totalled -53.7 million euros (-92.3).
  • Unit cost at constant currency excluding fuel (CASK excl. fuel) increased by 0.7% year-on-year.
  • Unit revenue at constant currency (RASK) decreased by 1.9% year-on-year.
  • Earnings per share amounted to -0.06 cents (-0.20).

January-June 2015

  • Revenue on a par with first half of 2014, at 1,101.4 million euros (1,109.0).
  • Operational result improved to -41.3 million euros (-53.9).
  • Operational EBITDAR was 56.6 million euros (53.0).
  • Net cash flow from operating activities stood at 101.4 million euros (48.7), and cash flow from investments totalled 89.2 million euros (141.4).
  • Unit cost at constant currency excluding fuel (CASK excl. fuel) increased by 0.9% year-on-year.
  • Unit revenue at constant currency (RASK) decreased by 1.2% year-on-year.
  • Earnings per share amounted to -0.16 cents (-0.44).
  • Finnair updates its guidance and estimates that, in 2015, its operational result is around break-even or slightly positive.

Outlook

Outlook published on May 7, 2015

The demand outlook for passenger and cargo traffic in Finnair’s main markets still involves uncertainty. Finnair estimates that, in 2015, its capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres will grow by approximately 3 per cent and that its revenue will remain at the 2014 level. Finnair further estimates, as a change to its previous guidance, and when calculated with the same accounting principles as earlier, that its unit costs excluding fuel will increase from the 2014 level due to the structural changes in the company’s business and the strong appreciation of the US dollar. By applying the changed calculation method, that neutralises the effect of these changes as defined in notes 16 and 18 to the interim financial statements, Finnair estimates that its 2015 unit costs excluding fuel at constant currency will decrease from the 2014 level.

The lower price of jet fuel and the full impact from the completed savings program are supporting the financial performance of Finnair 2015.

According to its disclosure policy, Finnair will issue guidance on the expected development of its operational result in connection with the January–June interim report. As a separate guidance Finnair estimates that, when calculated using the exchange rates effective at the end of the review period, the non-recurring items associated with the long haul fleet renewal in 2015 will have a substantial positive impact on Finnair’s operating result due to the strengthened US dollar. Finnair has previously estimated that the long haul fleet renewal would not have a significant effect on its operating result in 2014 and 2015. The non-recurring items related to the long haul fleet renewal react substantially to changes in the euro-dollar exchange rate.

Outlook on August 14, 2015

Finnair estimates that, in 2015, its operational result is around break-even or slightly positive.

Finnair reiterates its previous estimate that its capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometers will grow by approximately 3 per cent and that its revenue will remain approximately at the 2014 level. As a change to its previous estimate, the company now estimates that its 2015 unit costs excluding fuel at constant currency will remain at the 2014 level.

Finnair also reiterates as a separate guidance that, when calculated using the exchange rates effective at the end of the review period, the non-recurring items associated with the long haul fleet renewal in 2015 will have a substantial positive impact on Finnair’s operating result due to the strengthened US dollar.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OH-LVG (msn 1916) arrives in Zurich.

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

AG Hang one of our framable prints

Video: Finnair is depending on the new Airbus A350-900 to boost its bottom line later this year.

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