Icelandair Group hf.: Net profit of USD 20 million in Q3 2021
Icelandair Group generated USD 19.6 million in net profit in Q3 2021 despite the Delta variant negatively impacting September load factor and unit revenues. The Company further strengthened its liquidity, which amounted to USD 454.4 million at the end of the quarter. Net cash from operations amounted to USD 25.2 million compared to negative USD 88.3 million in Q3 2020.
Icelandair continued its network and operational ramp up during the quarter. The company served 34 international destinations, 11 in North America and 23 in Europe. The total number of passengers was around 700 thousand which is almost fourfold compared to last year. 52% of the passengers were tourists to Iceland. The load factor was 68.2% and on-time performance was 86%. Passengers in the domestic network were 67 thousand and reached pre-COVID levels.
Cargo operations continued to be strong with volumes and revenues exceeding pre-COVID levels. Transit freight increased considerably and was 10% of total transported freight, compared to 3% in 2020.
The company experienced a booking trend setback during August and September caused by the rise of the Delta variant. The situation has, however, recovered and bookings have been strong during the last few weeks. The opening of the US borders for European travelers is a crucial milestone for the company and following that all its markets will be open. In the fourth quarter, the company will grow its capacity from 50% of 2019 capacity levels in Q3 to up to 65% of 2019 levels in Q4, serving 11 destinations in North America and 15 in Europe. However, in addition to the continued impact of the pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions, high fuel prices will negatively affect operational results in the fourth quarter.
Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO:
"We are pleased to have turned a profit from regular operations in the quarter for the first time in two years, driven by our successful ramp up over the past months. Our capacity in the international passenger network increased sixfold compared to last year, reaching 50% of our 2019 levels which is a great result given the challenging circumstances. Load factor was strong in July and August and we transported more passengers in July alone than in the first six months of the year combined. The via market also improved significantly as soon as Europe opened for US travelers. In addition, we are proud to have reached 86% on-time performance despite complicated travel restrictions and a rapid ramp-up. This success can be attributed to our main strength, flexibility – both of our network and our people who I would like to thank for showing remarkable resilience in responding quickly to changes in our markets and spotting and pursuing all possible opportunities.
Despite our positive recovery path, the quarter was still impacted by the pandemic. We experienced a setback with the rise of the Delta variant, resulting in a slow-down in bookings towards the end of the quarter. Demand for cargo, however, remained strong. A key focus area in our cargo services is ensuring efficient transport of fresh Icelandic seafood and thus supporting important export revenue generation in Iceland. Utilizing our strong route network, we work closely with our partners to deliver fresh seafood products that have a low carbon footprint compared to other protein sources and can be ready on consumers’ plates in diverse markets within 48 hours of being caught.
Going forward, we see strong booking trends. The opening of the US borders means that we can finally start harnessing the full potential of our route network for the first time since March 2020. Looking at the big picture, the recovery of Icelandic tourism is greatly dependent on the competitiveness of Iceland as a tourist destination. Therefore, it is important that Icelandic authorities review the current border restrictions and ensure they are simple, efficient and in line with those of the countries around us. As for Icelandair, we are well prepared for the months ahead – with our highly flexible operations, robust infrastructure and a strong liquidity position, underpinned by great teams of experienced people across the business."
Webcast 21 October 2021
An investor presentation will be webcast in relation to the publication of the results at 8:30 local time on Thursday, 21 October 2021, at http://icelandairgroup.is. Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group, and Ivar S. Kristinsson, CFO, will present the Company’s results and answer questions. The presentation and Q&A will take place in Icelandic. The presentation will be available after the meeting on the Icelandair Group website: http://icelandairgroup.is and under Company News on:
Investors: Iris Hulda Thorisdottir, Director Investor Relations. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media: Asdis Petursdottir, Director Communications. E-mail: email@example.com