Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Finnair Group Interim Report 1 January – 31 March 2020

Finnair has issued a group interim report for 01 January 2020 to March 2020 which show quite dramatically how revenue, number of passengers and comparable operating profit are significantly down for the carrier due to the coronavirus impact.  Indeed the changes bought about by the pandemic compares to nothing in the entire 100+ years of commercial aviation history. Finnair expects to make a loss of €2 million per day during the second quarter if the crisis continues and it is only able to operate its very basic limited schedule. 



January–March 2020
  • Earnings per share were -1.14 euros (-0.33).
  • Revenue decreased by 16.0% to 561.2 million euros (668.2)*.
  • Unit revenue (RASK) decreased by 7.3%. Unit revenue at constant currency decreased by 7.5%.
  • Unit cost (CASK) increased by 5.1%. Unit cost excluding fuel increased by 4.0%.
  • Fuel costs decreased by only 1.3 million euros (-0.9%). The coronavirus-related decline in capacity was almost fully netted by the impact of the fuel price**.
  • The comparable operating result was -91.1 million euros (-16.2). The operating result was -95.6 million euros (-17.6).
  • Financial net expenses increased significantly, with 55 million euros of the increase related to jet fuel and foreign exchange hedging that was reclassified from other comprehensive income.
  • Net cash flow from operating activities was -133.5 million euros (148.3) and net cash flow from investing activities was -67.3 million euros (-70.2).***
  • The number of passengers decreased by 15.6% to 2.7 million (3.1).
  • Available seat kilometres (ASK) decreased by 9.4%.
  • Passenger load factor (PLF) was 72.6% (-5.7 points).
    Unless otherwise stated, comparisons and figures in parentheses refer to the comparison period, i.e. the same period last year.
**   Fuel price including impact of currencies and hedging.
*** In Q1, net cash flow from investing activities includes 49.2 million euros of redemptions in money market funds or other financial assets maturing after more than three months. These redemptions are part of the Group’s liquidity management.

Outlook
Guidance on 29 April 2020:
Finnair's current assumption is that it will operate the current minimum network throughout Q2 due to the coronavirus situation. At the same time, the company estimates that the recovery of air traffic will begin in stages from the beginning of July 2020. However, the pace of recovery cannot be assessed at this stage, leaving the outlook for the second half of 2020 unclear. Finnair is preparing for the future with different scenarios to have the ability to quickly adapt its capacity to changing demands.

Finnair estimates that with the current minimum network, its comparable operating result will be a daily loss of approximately 2 million euros throughout the second quarter, despite cost adjustments.
Due to the current situation, Finnair's revenue will decrease significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. The comparable operating loss will be significant in the financial year 2020 as the company announced in its profit warning on 16 March 2020. In addition, Finnair's capacity will decrease significantly this year compared to 2019. Due to these factors, Finnair will also update its financial targets for the strategy period.

Finnair updates its outlook and guidance in connection with the Q2 interim report.

CEO Topi Manner said "The first quarter of 2020 will be remembered for the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. We started our year strongly, with January developing noticeably better than expected. However, from February onwards, the coronavirus situation caused a dramatic change in revenues – a change that compares to nothing in the entire 100-year history of commercial aviation. During the quarter, our revenue decreased by 16 per cent to 561 million euros. 

The effects were visible in all our traffic areas and the number of passengers decreased by 15.6 per cent. Despite determined cost reductions, our comparable operating result decreased significantly year-on-year and the operating loss was 91.1 million euros.

We issued profit warnings on 28 February and 16 March, and at the same time, we announced measures we took to reduce our costs. We have made good progress in achieving these savings. These measures, which are necessary in this situation, include temporary layoffs for all Finnair employees. Other measures include a strong adjustment of our network as well as cuts in sales and marketing costs, supplier agreements, IT costs and investments. At the same time, management salaries will be cut by 15% and the Board will waive its remuneration in the same proportion. Thanks to our strict cost adjustment efforts, we started the second quarter with a cost level that is approximately 70% less than the monthly level prior to the coronavirus period. Excluding depreciation, costs have decreased by 80%. The impact of the adjustment measures will be more clearly reflected in costs during the second quarter when we will operate a minimum network corresponding to approximately 5% of our capacity.

The coronavirus is a major blow to global aviation and to Finnair. In the current quarter, the majority of our fleet is grounded, and the loss for the second quarter will be considerable, approximately 2 million euros per day, even after the cost adjustments.

At the end of the first quarter, our liquid cash funds were 833 million euros, including a raised 175-million-euro revolving credit facility. In the event that these exceptional circumstances continue, we have drawn up an additional financing plan, which includes a 600-million-euro pension premium loan to be drawn, if necessary, as well as aircraft sale and leaseback arrangements. Even if the coronavirus situation continues, Finnair's cash position will be secured beyond the first half of 2021.
Due to the exceptional circumstances, no dividend will be paid for 2019. We have also announced that we are planning for an approximately 500-million-euro share issue to strengthen the company's equity. Despite the blow caused by the coronavirus, we want to ensure that Finnair remains a competitive airline in the future.

Once this acute crisis has eased, we will face an important rebuilding period. We expect aviation to recover slowly from July onwards, and passenger numbers to return to 2019 levels in two to three years. Therefore, it is likely that we will have to continue the temporary layoffs, even after the summer, and adapt our resources to the decreased traffic.

By managing this period well, we will have a good foundation for longer-term growth and job creation. That is why we will continue preparing for different alternatives. We have drafted scenarios and amended our operations to be more flexible so that we can time our future choices as well as possible. 

We are currently also assessing how the coronavirus impacts our long-term strategy, including financial targets and fleet investments. We still believe that after the rebuilding period, aviation is a growth sector and then Finnair will continue to seek sustainable, profitable growth. Finnair's most important strengths to help us in overcoming this challenge are committed personnel, loyal customers, a strong brand, common values, our strategy based on sustainable geographical competitive advantage and a strong ownership structure.

Finally, I want to say my heartfelt thanks to all Finnair employees for the excellent cooperation, good team spirit and courage they have showed in this very challenging situation. This tough journey has only begun and returning to the path of growth will require determined measures from all of us. However, I'm confident we will be strong when we come out of this situation. My warmest thanks also go to our customers for their patience and the encouraging messages they have sent to us. They really mean a lot to all of us at Finnair during these trying times."






Recommended for you...




No comments: