Norwegian reports huge loss in Q4

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Norwegian has reported its fourth quarter (Q4) figures plunged to a loss of NOK 3 billion ($350 million) from a deficit of NOK 713 million a year ago.

For the full year in 2018, the company’s loss stood at NOK 1.45 billion, a small improvement on the 1.79 billion crowns it lost in 2017. Revenue was more than NOK 40 billion, an increase of 30 per cent compared to 2017

The carrier said figures were strongly affected by “engine issues, fuel hedge losses and tough competition in a period of strong growth”.

A total of 25 new aircraft entered the fleet, contributing to a production growth (ASK) of 37 per cent. The load factor was 85.8 per cent and more than 37 million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian, an increase of 13 per cent compared to the previous year.

Norwegian said the key priority going forward is returning to profitability through a series of measures, including an extensive cost reduction program, an optimised route portfolio and sale of aircraft.

The company is also strengthening its balance sheet through a fully underwritten rights issue of NOK 3 billion in order to increase its financial position.

Going into 2019, Norwegian said its growth and investments will decrease considerably, and a series of initiatives have been undertaken to return to profitability this year.

Norwegian chief executive officer, Bjørn Kjos said: “We have taken a series of initiatives to improve profitability by reducing cost and increasing revenue going forward.

“We have optimised our base and route structure to streamline the operation as well as divested aircraft, postponed aircraft deliveries and not least started an internal cost reduction program, which will boost our financials and bring us back to profitability.

“Going into 2019, we will enter a period of slower growth and fewer investments, while constantly looking for new and smarter ways to improve our efficiency and offer new products and services to attract new customers.”