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1st Quarter results: Improved results in line with market expectations.

May 3, 2005 08:00

Highlights from the SAS Group 1st Quarter report released today:
• Group total operating revenue increased by 3.6% to MSEK 13,016 for the first quarter of 2005.
• Group transported a total of 7.3 million passengers, an increase of 0.8% vs. 2004.
• 1st Quarter income before capital gains and nonrecurring items amounted to a loss of MSEK 1,312 vs. a loss of MSEK 1588 in 2004.
• The result is affected by an “Easter effect” since Easter was in March 2005 and April 2004.
• Adjusted for this the improvement vs 2004 amounts to MSEK 500.

The market consensus indicated a loss of MSEK 1,210 (Reuters) or MSEK 1,250 (SME Direct), more or less in line with the outcome of MSEK 1,312

Jørgen Lindegaard, President & CEO of the SAS Group comments:
“1st Quarter continued to be demanding for the whole industry and in addition to that it is always seasonally the weakest quarter. The stabilization of yield has continued in the 1st Quarter and also into April and our unit cost is down 7,5% in the quarter. The continued overcapacity situation in Scandinavia puts pressure on the cabin factor for all airlines. We meet this challenge through new commercial initiatives and for example in April the Swedish domestic load factor was close to 70%, the highest April figure in ten years.

Continued major uncertainty over development in the airline industry gives reason to be cautious, but subject to unchanged yields, favorable traffic development and no significant changes in the business environment, adopted business plans indicate positive earnings for 2005.”

For more detailed information the quarterly report available at sasgroup.net.

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