Finnair May Report 2013 Loss as Yen Weakness Weighs on Earnings

Finnair Oyj, Finland’s national carrier, said it may report a loss this year amid declining revenue from leisure trips and cargo shipments, and as a weak yen weighs on earnings. The shares fell as much as 8.3 percent.

“If the strong deterioration of unit revenues continues in the last quarter of the year, it is possible that Finnair will not reach a profitable operational result in 2013,” the Vantaa-based company said in a statement today. Revenue in 2013 will probably be less than last year’s sales, the airline said.

The carrier had forecast that annual revenue would be at about the same level as 2012’s 2.45 billion euros ($3.38 billion) and that it would show an operational profit in 2013. A declining yen hurts Finnair as the airline builds Helsinki into a hub for travel to north Asia, exploiting its position on the shortest “Great Circle” routes.

Finnair shares fell to 2.86 euros, the lowest intraday price in three months, after the announcement and were down 7.4 percent at 2.89 euros at 5:09 p.m. That pared the stock’s gain this year to 20 percent.

The carrier, a Oneworld alliance member that competes with Stockholm-based SAS Group and Norwegian Air Shuttle AS in local markets, posted net income of 1.2 million euros in the first half, versus a year-earlier loss of 37.9 million euros. It will release an interim report tomorrow for the nine months ended Sept. 30.