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SAS profits slump despite cheap fuel costs

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SAS profits slump despite cheap fuel costs
SAS passengers at Copenhagen Airport. Photo: Christian Als/Scanpix
12:36 CEST+02:00
Scandinavian airline SAS said on Friday profits tumbled in the second quarter as low fuel costs and savings failed to offset headwinds from low fares and an adverse exchange rate.
Net profit fell 38 percent between February and April compared to the same three-month period a year earlier, to 171 million Swedish kronor (€18.4 million, $21 million), the airline said.
 
Sales dropped five percent to 8.9 billion kronor, it added.
 
"The weak results were primarily attributable to three factors: increased price pressure, technical maintenance costs and negative currency effects," SAS president and chief executive Rickard Gustafson said in a statement.
 
Shares in SAS fell more than 11 percent in early trading on a slightly lower Stockholm stock market.
 
Passenger numbers rose however and the airline saw a 5.7-percent rise in its seat occupancy rate, it said.
 
The quarterly results came as Swedish SAS pilots threaten to go on strike. A similar threat from SAS pilots in Norway was averted at the last-minute
 
SAS is fifty percent owned by the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish states.
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