Business World

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Forecast miss dents Norwegian shares

Norwegian, which launched flights between Ireland and the United States during the summer, said that its third quarter was “characterised by strong international passenger growth and a high load factor, as well as fleet growth and renewal”. Photo: Bloomberg
Norwegian, which launched flights between Ireland and the United States during the summer, said that its third quarter was “characterised by strong international passenger growth and a high load factor, as well as fleet growth and renewal”. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shares in Scandinavian airline Norwegian Air Shuttle fell as much as 3pc yesterday after it delivered third-quarter results that missed analysts' earnings forecasts.

The airline, whose Norwegian Air International unit is based in Dublin, posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of NOK 1.5bn (€158m), compared to analyst expectations of NOK 1.9bn (€199m).

Revenue jumped 21pc to NOK 10.08bn (€1.06bn) in the quarter as it continued to add new aircraft and routes to its network.

Norwegian, which launched flights between Ireland and the United States during the summer, said that its third quarter was "characterised by strong international passenger growth and a high load factor, as well as fleet growth and renewal".

Its load factor - or percentage of available seats filled - was 91.7pc during the third quarter. That compared to 91.3pc in the third quarter of last year.

"We have had major additional costs related to wet-leasing and compensation paid to passengers affected by delays, significantly affecting the quarterly result," said CEO Bjorn Kjos. He said forward bookings are "satisfactory".

But analysts at Davy Stockbrokers said the "theme of cost-based misses" in Norwegian's results had become a "somewhat recurring one".

"The market still requires evidence that it can actually leverage increasing scale to achieve comparative cost benefits," said the analysts.

Norwegian's unit costs, both including and excluding fuel, jumped 6pc in the latest quarter compared to a year ago.

Irish Independent

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