Norwegian emerges from the red to post second-quarter profit

Norwegian emerges from the red to post second-quarter profit

Low cost carrier Norwegian emerged from the red with a second quarter net profit of 300 million Norwegian krone (NOK).

The result compared to a loss of NOK 691 million in the same period last year.

The turn around by the airline, which has attracted takeover interest from British Airways owner International Airlines Group and Lufthansa, came despite the highest growth its history.

Going forward, the growth will slow down and ramp-up costs will decrease, in line with Norwegian’s strategy, the airline said.

The result was helped by a 19% cut in unit costs, excluding fuel.

One-offs also contributed to the cost reduction.

Costs were lower despite Norwegian’s highest ever capacity of 48% and increasing fuel prices. Aviation fuel expenses soared by 84% to NOK 3.2 billion.

The airline carried ten million passengers during the three months, an increase of 16%. The load factor was down by 0.9 percentage points year-on-year to 86.8% per cent.

Total revenue rose by 32% to NOK 10.2 billion, with the UK being the fifth largest contributor after Norway, the US, Spain and Sweden.

Norwegian has grown rapidly over the past years, expanding international traffic and adding new bases, destinations and markets to its portfolio.

The US represents the strongest market outside Norway in terms of total revenue.

CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “Despite being at the peak of our growth phase, we have been able to present a profit and decreased unit costs during the second quarter.

“Going forward, the growth will slow down and we will reap what we have sown for the benefit of our customers, staff and shareholders.”

Norwegian added three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to its fleet in the quarter.

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