April 6, 2018 / 7:15 AM / in 10 months

Norwegian Air's March traffic exceeds forecast, shares rise

OSLO, April 6 (Reuters) - Norwegian Air reported significantly higher-than-expected traffic growth in March and a jump in revenues, driven by strong demand during the Easter holiday, the budget carrier said on Friday.

Revenue passenger kilometres grew by 48 percent year-on-year, exceeding the average forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts of 39.9 percent.

“Even though Easter strongly impacts this month’s figures, we have a solid passenger growth. The international growth continues, and at the same time, more people are flying with us in Scandinavia,” Chief Executive Bjoern Kjos said.

The company’s passenger capacity grew by 44 percent in March from the same month of 2017, while the load factor increased to 86.7 percent, beating the 84.9 percent predicted by analysts.

Norwegian’s yield, or revenues per passenger kilometre, rose to 0.35 Norwegian crowns, as expected, from 0.31 crowns in February and 0.34 crowns a year ago.

The combination of a higher yield and strong growth would boost March revenues by 54 percent year-on-year, broker Pareto Securities said, adding that this was eight percent more than expected.

Norwegian’s shares traded 4.7 percent higher for the day at 0706 GMT, beating a 0.6 percent drop in Oslo’s benchmark stock index. (Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg and Ole Petter Skonnord, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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