Icelandair Group, the group which owns Iceland Air, Icelandair Cargo, a chain of hotels and various tourist based companies has reported a net profit of $67m USD, 18% up on last year. It’s been a turbulant time for Icelandair Group, with passenger numbers up in the period, but cargo shipments down.
Björgólfur Jóhannsson, President and CEO said: “The Group’s performance in 2014 exceeded management projections from the beginning of the year, with EBITDA at the upper limits of the Company’s most recent earnings estimate. Net profit amounted to USD 66.5 million, up by 18% from last year. EBITDA amounted to USD 154.3 million, up by 7% between years. Results for the fourth quarter were in line with the earnings estimate published at the end of last October. The strong performance was the result of a number of interacting positive factors, including falling fuel prices, increased demand in the North Atlantic market – which was met by increased supply – and good results from charter operations. The depreciation of the euro against the US dollar had a negative impact on the Group’s operations, and in addition the maintenance cost of cargo aircraft was significantly higher than anticipated.
As of 2010 Icelandair Group’s operations have shown growing momentum. Income has grown by USD 395 million, amounting to USD 1.1 billion in 2014. In recent years we have continued to close the ranks of our staff and secured a steady growth of our infrastructure in preparation for the future. Prudence is and will continue to be the key to long-term profitable growth for the Company. A strong equity position and underlying cash flow will underpin our ability to undertake profitable investments to improve our competitiveness for the long term. We have a clear future vision and an outstanding staff, to whom I attribute first and foremost the good results we achieved last year.
We are assuming continued profitable organic growth in Icelandair Group’s operations in 2015. The Group’s international flight schedule will be 14% larger than in 2014, and a significant development in the Company’s hotel operations in Central Reykjavik is foreseeable. On the whole, prospects in the Icelandic tourist industry are positive, and we also believe that the outlook for cargo and charter operations in 2015 is encouraging.
The EBITDA forecast for 2015 has been raised in comparison with 2014, with EBITDA now projected in the range of USD 160-165 million. The fall in fuel prices is the single cost item most responsible for the rise in EBITDA. It should be noted, however, that external factors, like fluctuations in fuel price and on FX markets along with the outcome of collective-bargaining agreements in the labour market can affect the Company’s performance significantly.”