STOCKHOLM: Scandinavian airline SAS said on Friday profits tumbled in the second quarter as low fuel costs and savings failed to offset headwinds from low fares and an adverse exchange rate.

Net profit fell 38 per cent between February and April compared to the same three-month period a year earlier, to 171 million kronor (18.4 million euros, $21 million), the airline said.

Sales dropped five per cent to 8.9 billion kronor, it added.

“The weak results were primarily attributable to three factors: increased price pressure, technical maintenance costs and negative currency effects,” SAS president and chief executive Rickard Gustafson said in a statement.

Shares in SAS fell more than 11 per cent in early trading on a slightly lower Stockholm stock market.

Passenger numbers rose however and the airline saw a 5.7-per cent rise in its seat occupancy rate, it said.