The negative result was influenced by global expansion, fleet renewal and other costs.
Despite ever-increasing passenger figures, Norwegian has reported negative full-year results for 2017. The net loss was NOK 299 million (€30.7 million), while earnings before interest, taxes and depreciations (Ebitda) was NOK 60 million.
The airline blames the figures on “significant costs related to increased fuel prices, wet lease and passenger care”, yet claims that “going into 2018, Norwegian is far better positioned with stronger bookings and a better staffing situation.”
It adds that “major investments” were made in 2017 to prepare for future growth.
The company’s revenue for the year was almost NOK 31 billion, an increase of 19% compared to 2016. A total of 32 new aircraft entered the fleet, contributing to capacity growth (ASK) of 25%.
More than 33 million passengers flew Norwegian in 2017, up 13% on 2016, while load factor was unchanged at 88%.
Revenue for the fourth quarter was more than NOK 7.8 billion, a rise of 30% year-on-year, which the airline said was “primarily driven by international growth as well as an increased traffic in the Nordics”.
Yet the fourth-quarter net loss was NOK 919 million. Just over 8 million passengers flew Norwegian during this quarter, up 12%, with the load factor at 85.3%.
Norwegian stressed that it made major investments in the fourth quarter related to the training of pilots and cabin crew on its widebody and narrowbody fleet “to prepare for the growth in 2018”.
“Not at all satisfied”
“We are not at all satisfied with the 2017 results,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos. “Through our global strategy, we contribute to local economic boost and increased employment at our destinations, as well as ensuring that more people can afford to fly – not least between the continents.”
He underlined that “Norwegian is far better positioned for 2018, with stronger bookings, a growing network of intercontinental routes complementing our vast European network and not least, a better staffing situation. Our major global expansion reaches its peak in the second half of 2018, when 32 of our 42 Dreamliners on order will have been put into service.”