Airline SAS to announce new cost cuts-report

STOCKHOLM Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:00pm EDT

STOCKHOLM Oct 12 (Reuters) - Loss-making Scandinavian airline SAS will announce a new package of cost cuts soon as it looks to counter pressure from an economic downturn and long-term overcapacity in the industry, Danish online magazine Takeoff.dk wrote on Friday.

SAS has not posted a full-year profit since 2007 and has only been in the black three years out of the last 11.

A series of savings packages - the latest aimed at reducing annual costs by around 5 billion Swedish crowns ($748 million) - have begun to reverse the tide and the company reported a small profit in the second quarter.

Takeoff.dk, citing sources, said SAS would soon announce new, wide-ranging structural measures - including reducing staff costs by 15 percent through pay cuts and changes to work conditions.

The new measures could also include asset disposals, it said.

SAS spokeswoman Malin Selander said the company was looking at a range of options to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

"No decisions have been taken," she said. "We are gathering information."

The pan-Scandinavian airline, half-owned by Sweden, Norway and Denmark, posted a pretax profit of 371 million Swedish crowns ($55.5 million) in the second quarter reversing a first-quarter loss 1.1 billion crowns.

The company has not given a forecast for the full year blaming economic uncertainty. It reports third-quarter results on Nov. 8.

SAS last week said in a statement that its group passenger traffic rose 8.3 percent year-on-year in September after a 6.9 percent gain in August. The group also said that its load factor improved by 1.9 percentage points to 76.5 percent.

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