Rising salary and fuel costs swell Icelandair's Q1 loss

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Icelandair's first-quarter pre-tax loss climbed by nearly 38% as rising revenues were outweighed by increases in salary, fuel, and other operating expenses.

The loss, at $22.9 million, was up from $16.6 million. Revenues climbed 10% to $173 million, with passenger numbers up 18%, but expenses jumped 13% to $181 million.

Of this rise in expenses, salary and personnel expenses accounted for more than two-fifths and fuel costs about a quarter.

Björgólfur Jóhannsson, Icelandair's president and chief executive, says that the quarterly performance was better than had been forecast, and the airline's projection of 2013 annual earnings has been revised upwards from $115-120 million to $122-127 million.