Björgólfur Jóhannsson, president and CEO:
"Our first quarter results were in line with management's expectations. The forecast for the year provided for a negative outcome in the quarter, below the level of the corresponding quarter of last year. Among the explanations for the result is that expenses arising out of the increased scope of our business in the peak period accrue largely in the first quarter. This includes advertising and marketing expenses, implementation of aircraft and the cost of bookings and agents' fees relating to the peak season. EBITDA was negative by USD 13.3 million, down by just short of USD 5.0 million from the first quarter of the preceding year.
Total income amounted to USD 191.3 million, increasing by 11% year on year. The increase in passenger revenues was most significant in the North Atlantic market, but the tourist market to Iceland also showed a considerable increase. The Company's charter and freight operations were successful, with profitability increasing between years. The operation of other subsidiaries of the Group also showed successful results in line with projections.
The prospects for Icelandair Group’s operations in 2014 are favourable. Tourist arrivals in Iceland are expected to hit a record level this year, with positive consequences for the travel industry. However, the Company is facing some uncertainty, as the Icelandic Airline Pilots' Association has announced an indefinite overtime ban and strikes in May. Also, negotiations have not been completed with flight attendants and aircraft maintenance engineers. Icelandair Group's management hopes that agreements can be reached with these three groups of employees to prevent any disruption to the Company's business activity. The Company's earnings forecast remains unchanged, with EBITDA for 2014 projected in the range of USD 145-150 million."
For further information, please contact:
Icelandair Group hf.