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CEO Comment

Bjorgolfur-JohannssonLast year the total turnover of the company was ISK 63.5 billion, up by 13% from 2006. The operation had both positive and disappointing sides. We have a large and diversified group with many foundations. There was rapid growth and healthy profit in charter and aircraft trading activities. We had solid performance in the Travel and Tourism segment. On the other hand Icelandair, Icelandair Cargo and Bluebird Cargo operations did not meet expectations even though the development within the year was positive. EBITDA was ISK 5.5 billion, EBITDAR was ISK 11 billion, but net profit ISK 257 million. We saw lower cash status in 2007 due to down payments of debt and aircraft trading during the year, and higher financial expenses. Total assets amounted to ISK 67 billion. The largest business segment within Icelandair Group, Scheduled Airline Operations, underperfomed, even if improved revenue management and capacity control in Q4 partially offset revenue shortcomings from Q2 and Q3. The Icelandic passenger market continued to be strong last year, but we saw less export and lower revenue at Icelandair Cargo than anticipated. Maintenance cost was also higher than anticipated in network and cargo operations.

Icelandair increased its number of trips by 6% from 2006 and passenger numbers were up by 4%. The load factor was affected by overcapacity on the market in Q2 and Q3 and was down in 2007 from the previous year. In the second largest business segment, Global Capacity Solutions, operations showed healthy profits and growth at Latcharter and Loftleiðir Icelandic, while revenue at Bluebird dissappointed in Q2 and Q3. Sale profit due to the sale of aircraft at Loftleiðir was close to ISK 1 billion, and good profit from Icelease operations despite sale of distressed assets. Travel Service became an associate member of the Group as of November 1.

In the Travel and Tourism segment we saw improved utilization and tight cost control at Icelandair Hotels and postive outcome of the year. Higher passenger revenue at Air Iceland due to more demand outweighed higher employee and fuel cost. Implementation of new information systems led to higher employee cost at Iceland Travel and strong ISK led to lower profits from services than expected.

We have a job on our hands in improving the performance of the Group in 2008. Icelandair is off to a good start with improved revenue. We have less capacity in the network than last year and we will focus on cost and profitability above all. We also have a large task ahead of us in implementing the renewal of Icelandair services and products with new aircraft interiors. Another major task is to incorporate Travel Service into Icelandair Group and keep focus on synergy and further growth in Central- and Eastern-Europe.

All the companies within Icelandair Group have their own plans for growth and improved performance, as can be seen in this annual report. The Group’s task is to make sure these ambitions will be realized.

Björgólfur Jóhannsson
President and CEO



 


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