SAS: Conditions necessary for full-year profit weakening

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SAS Group has posted positive pre-tax and net income for the third quarter, although it is cautioning that conditions for meeting its full-year profit forecast have weakened.

While SAS said its earlier forecast for 2011 "stands firm", it added that the conditions on which it was based have "deteriorated".

"On condition that nothing unexpected occurs, it is our opinion that there is still the potential for SAS to achieve marginally positive income before tax for full-year 2011," it said.

"Against the backdrop of the difficult economic situation in the Spanish market, the risks related to the financial exposure in Spanair have increased."

But the company nevertheless posted a SKr298 million ($45 million) profit for continuing operations - albeit before non-recurring items - and a pre-tax income of SKr276 million for the quarter ending 30 September.

Chief executive Rickard Gustafson described the figures as "encouraging but not satisfactory".

Revenue was slightly down at SKr10.6 billion despite a 4.1% rise in passenger numbers.

SAS has engaged in a new strategic programme, '4Excellence', under which it intends to sharpen its commercial, sales, operational and personnel activities.

Over the first nine months of the year SAS Group achieved pre-tax income of SKr448 million and net income of SKr392 million.