British Airways owner sees good profit rise
London, May 10, 2014
British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) reported better than expected first-quarter results yesterday, with a halving of losses at troubled Spanish carrier Iberia putting it on course for a rise in annual profits.
Iberia has in recent months settled a number of employee disputes on work and pay which IAG has said will see the Spanish carrier return to profit this year.
"The performance so far this year has been one that has pleased us significantly given the reduction in operating losses in the first quarter. We're particularly pleased with the continued progress being made in Iberia," chief executive Willie Walsh said.
He added that the company, Europe's largest airline by market value, was on track to make an operating profit of 1.8 billion euros in 2015.
The company posted an operating loss before exceptional items of 150 million euros in the three months to March 31, down from a 278m euro loss in the same period last year and better than analysts' expectations of a 162m euro loss, according to a company poll.
IAG, which also owns Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, generally reports a loss in the traditionally weaker first three months of the year and makes the bulk of its profits in the summer months.
The company also reported yesterday that group passenger traffic in the first four months of the year was up 5.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.-Reuters