Warning that "difficult terrain"lay ahead on account of high fuel costs, Finnair reported a Q1 profit of €5.5 million ($8.6 million), which was down 40.9% from the €9.9 million earned in the year-ago period.
President and CEO, Jukka Hienonen, said the company's "balance sheet position is strong and our business is fundamentally in good shape," but added that "the high price of fuel and the uncertain outlook for the world economy raise question marks about the profit outlook for airlines." He noted that "
expensive jet fuel has choked the life out of several airlines on different continents."
While Q1 operating revenue rose 8.8% to €582.5 million, costs increased 9.4% to €570.4 million, including a 30.7% jump in fuel expense to €134.9 million. This produced an operating profit of €12.1 million, down 11.7% from €13.7 million last year.
Flight operations unit revenue (RTKs) fell 4.9% to 69.2 euro cents. The airline said traffic increased 12.9% in the quarter on a 13.5% lift in capacity.
It also said demand will "continue to moderate in the early part of the year."