SAS returns to profit in second half

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SAS Group returned to the black in the second half of 2011, reporting a pre-tax profit of SKr175 million ($27.5 million) compared to the pre-tax loss of SKr1.6 billion incurred a year earlier.

Net profit for the six-month period ended 30 June grew to SKr178 million from a net loss of SKr1.2 billion in the same period in 2010.

Revenue for the first half of the year rose to SKr20.4 billion from SKr19.5 billion.

SAS said the second quarter was its best second quarter since 2008. Pre-tax profit grew to SKr729 million from the pre-tax loss of SKr600 million recorded a year earlier. Net profit grew to SKr551 million from a SKr502 million net loss.

Second-quarter revenue increased to SKr11.2 billion from SKr9.98 billion.

The Core SAS restructuring plan has now been completed, and has reduced unit costs by 23% since 2008, said the airline group.

SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson said that fuel prices and additional capacity in the market remain challenging, but added that provided there are no unexpected events "conditions remain for the SAS Group to achieve positive income before tax for full-year 2011".