SAS Reports Full Year 2020 Net Loss of $1.1 Billion on Revenue of $2.4 billion
The airline’s full year 2020 (November 2019-October 2020) net loss totaled MSEK 9,275 (US $1.1 billion) on a 55 percent revenue decline to MSEK 20,513 (US $2.4 billion). The annual loss per common share was SEK -21.55 (US $-2.55).
On Thursday (December 3, 2020), SAS reported their fourth quarter and full year 2020 financial results. The carrier’s full year net loss was reported as MSEK 9,275 (US $1.1 billion) or SEK (22.55) per common share (US $2.55). Annual revenue declined 55 percent to SEK 20.5 billion (US $2.4 billion), attributable to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The revenue decline was partially offset by a 37 percent reduction in costs due to lower variable costs and a comprehensive cost reduction program. In today’s announcement, SAS’ President and CEO, Rickard Gustafson, said,
“Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus has changed the fundamentals for the aviation industry through globally imposed travel restrictions and general travel concerns among the broader population. Naturally, SAS is no exception, and our quarterly and fiscal year earnings were severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic. After seeing demand slowly improve during the summer, an accelerated number of COVID-19 cases in September and October unfortunately led to reinforced restrictions across Europe with reduced demand as a direct consequence.”
SAS ended the fourth quarter and FY 2020 with a cash position of SEK 10.2 billion (US $1.2 billion). The carrier maintains flexibility to scale capacity up or down with market conditions as all three Scandinavian countries have extended their available furlough (temporary layoff) schemes. SAS has also initiated the process to phase out 15 older and less efficient aircraft including 15 Boeing 737NGs, five Airbus A340s, and one Airbus A330. The accelerated phase out will boost liquidity through their sale of aircraft and engines and will also reduce leasing and maintenance costs.
Since the second quarter SAS has implemented other cost savings initiatives including renegotiated supplier contracts and halting all non-essential spending. Also, the 5,000 redundancies announced in the second quarter have now been finalized, with the newly streamlined organization fully operational from November 1, 2020. In the fourth quarter the carrier also secured additional long-term productivity gains by achieving several changes to local collective bargaining agreements. The company also reached new agreements with their SAS Ireland crew as well as with employees at their technical department in Copenhagen.
SAS is the leading airline in Scandinavia, carrying over 30 million passengers annually from its main hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to 125 destinations in Europe, the US and Asia (pre-pandemic figures). The company has targeted a reduction in carbon emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and hopes to transition to 100% biofuel for domestic flights by 2030. SAS also offers ground handling services, technical maintenance and cargo services. The carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance, a network offering around 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,300 global destinations.