Icelandair Group hf.
Strong position despite unprecedented challenges
- Operations in Q4 2020 heavily impacted by COVID-19 and related travel restrictions with capacity down by 95%
- Total revenue in Q4 2020 USD 60.2 million decreasing by 81% from last year
- Cargo revenue increased by 48% year-on-year in fourth quarter
- EBIT negative of USD 60.2 million in Q4 2020 compared to negative EBIT of USD 36.7 million in Q4 2019
- Icelandair’s capacity down by 81% in 2020 compared to 2019 and the number of passengers down by 83%
- Net loss for the full year 2020 USD 376.2 million compared to a net loss of USD 57.8 million in 2019
- Equity USD 232.8 million at year-end and equity ratio down from 29% to 25%, adjusted for temporary effects of warrants
- Total liquidity USD 331.4 million at year-end 2020, thereof cash and marketable securities USD 159.4 million
- Demand for Q1 2021 still weak due to the status of the pandemic in key markets
- Modest ramp-up assumed in Q2 2021
- Boeing 737 MAX recertified as safe to fly and will be reintroduced into the network in the spring
Bogi Nils Bogason, President and CEO
"The results of the fourth quarter continued to be impacted by COVID-19 with minimum operations throughout the period. By focusing on maintaining the flexibility of our route network we were able to meet increased demand in December for travel to and from Iceland over the holiday period.
It is fair to say that 2020 was the most challenging year in aviation history, with the global pandemic causing almost a complete halt to air travel. We have taken our role as the lead Icelandic carrier seriously during this time and ensured to keep vital routes open to and from Iceland, both for passengers and cargo. During the year we took extensive measures to scale down our business and strengthened the long-term competitiveness of Icelandair Group by completing a financial restructuring which included a successful share offering. We were honoured by the strong participation in the offering, where we raised USD 167 million in new share capital. Around seven thousand new shareholders joined our strong and broad shareholder base, which now totals over 13 thousand shareholders.
During this time, we have focused on preserving the necessary infrastructure to be able to react quickly to changes in our markets. This proved successful during the summer when border restrictions were eased temporarily, and we were able to ramp up quickly to meet increased demand. Furthermore, we managed to create important value through our cargo and leasing operations by seizing various new opportunities during the year.
The responsibility towards our customers and employees was at the top of our agenda during 2020, securing health and safety across our operations and ensuring clear communication during fast-changing conditions. We have put all efforts in finding solutions for our customers and getting those that have needed to travel to their destinations. In addition, we completed the processing of the vast majority of refunds, travel credits and other changes to bookings during the year.
We are still facing considerable uncertainty as we continue to be dependent on the status of the pandemic, vaccine distribution and border closures in our markets for air travel to resume. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to start a modest ramp-up of our network in the second quarter of this year. It is great news that the 737 MAX has now been recertified as safe to fly, with a number of airlines already having taken them into operation. We plan to return the aircraft to service in the spring following extensive updates and pilot training where safety is our priority. The aircraft is both cost-effective and more environmentally friendly, giving us additional operational flexibility during the ramp-up as well as supporting the future development of our route network.
I am confident that there will be plenty of opportunities for Iceland and thereby the Icelandair route network post COVID. Iceland will continue to be an attractive tourist destination and, due to changes in the competitive landscape, we also see additional opportunities for our transatlantic service, where we offer convenient connections between Europe and North America through Iceland.
I would like to use the opportunity and thank our outstanding team of employees for their dedication and resilience during this unprecedented year. I would also like to thank our customers and shareholders for their continued support. I believe that with a clear vision for the future, focus on the right priorities and a team effort, we will come out of this crisis stronger than before."
Webcast 9 February 2021
An investor presentation will be webcast in relation to the publication of the results at 8:30 a.m. on 9 February 2021, at http://icelandairgroup.is. Bogi Nils Bogason, President & CEO of Icelandair Group, and Eva Soley Gudbjornsdottir, Group CFO, will present the Company’s results and answer questions. The presentation and Q&A will take place in Icelandic. The presentation materials will be available after the meeting on the Icelandair Group website: http://icelandairgroup.is and under Company News on: http://www.nasdaqomxnordic.com/news/companynews
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