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SAS Group presents Full-year 2004 results: Improved 4th Quarter and full year in line with expectations.

February 10, 2005 08:03

Highlights from the SAS Group year-end report released today:

· Group total operating revenue increased by 0.6% to MSEK 58,073 for the full-year 2004.

· Group transported a total of 32.4 million passengers, an increase of 4.4% vs. 2003.

· Income before capital gains and nonrecurring items amounted to a loss of MSEK 1,814 for the full-year 2004. This is an improvement of MSEK 407 vs. 2003.

· Income before capital gains and nonrecurring items amounted to MSEK -344 for 4th Quarter 2004.

The market consensus indicated a loss of MSEK 1,814 (Reuters) or MSEK 1,748 (SME Direct), fairly in line with the outcome of MSEK 1,814.

4th Quarter income before capital gains and nonrecurring items amounted to a loss of MSEK 344 vs. a loss of MSEK 415 in 2003. The 4th Quarter result were negatively affected by the Spanair pilot industrial action, a negative accounting effect from a revenue method change in SAS Cargo, a cabin crew dispute in Denmark and ATC problems in Norway totaling MSEK 350.

Jörgen Lindegaard, President & CEO of the SAS Group comments:

“2004 was a year with many achievements. We have successfully reduced our costs by a substantial amount, created a new business structure and turned many unprofitable units into profitable ones. Due to yield reductions of unprecedented scale, record high jet fuel prices and severe overcapacity in many markets, the outcome for the Group full-year result was clearly unsatisfactory.

It must be stated though; that the underlying results in 4th Quarter are the best Q4 result in four years. This is an indication that our actions on both the revenue side and the cost side are taking effect, getting SAS under way for 2005.”

Turnaround 2005 has continued to bring significant cost savings in the Group. Since 4th Quarter 2002, Scandinavian Airlines has lowered its unit cost by 26% adjusted for fuel and currency effects. It is expected that 2005 will also be a challenging year with continued overcapacity in many markets, but with a new cost platform, changed business structure and new commercial activities, the Group expects to strengthen its position further in 2005.

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 full year-end report available at sasgroup.net.

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