SAS airline swings to Q4 profit in weak market

AP News
Posted: Dec 19, 2013 3:48 AM

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scandinavian airline group SAS says it swung to a profit from a loss in the fourth quarter, but that tough competition and weak economic growth means it won't reach its financial targets in time.

The airline said profit for the quarter ending Oct. 31, was 352 million kronor ($54 million), compared to a loss of 574 million kronor a year ago. Revenue dropped by 3 percent to 11.1 billion kronor from 11.4 billion kronor. Due to the weak conditions, SAS said the financial targets it expected to reach in 2014-2015 won't be met until 2015-2016.

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SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson says "conditions worsened dramatically in the fourth quarter with a 10 percent increase in capacity in the Nordic market."

He says he negative trend was partially offset by cost-cutting.