IAG airlines group rebounds into 2013 net profit

February 28, 2014 - 12:05:40 pm

LONDON: International Airlines Group rebounded into net profit last year, boosted by a strong performance from British Airways and Spanish budget carrier Vueling, it said on Friday.

Profits after tax stood at 122 million euros or $167 million last year, IAG said in a results statement. 

That contrasted with a net loss of 716 million euros in 2012. 

Revenues grew 3.1 percent to 18.68 billion euros and fuel costs slid 2.5 percent to 5.95 billion euros, added the group, which also noted "huge progress" on the restructuring of its Iberia division.

Operating profit, or earnings before tax and one-off costs, stood at 770 million euros, compared with a loss of 23 million euros in 2012.

"In 2013, we strengthened the group by acquiring Vueling, embarking on Iberia's transformation and enhancing British Airways' revenue performance," said chief executive Willie Walsh.

"This has led to a strong financial recovery and return to profitability."

He added: "British Airways continued its solid revenue performance this year and we're seeing cost improvements, resulting in an operating profit."

At the same time, Iberia slashed its operating loss to 166 million euros compared with 351 million euros last time around.

"Iberia has made huge progress on cost control as its restructuring takes shape and great credit should be given to all those involved," Walsh said.

"The recent pay and productivity agreements between Iberia and its pilot and cabin crew unions are key to reducing the airline's costs further and providing the foundation for profitable growth."

The London-listed company also noted that Vueling was a "great asset" which added value to the group. 

Looking ahead, IAG forecast that it would make "steady progress" this year towards its 2015 group operating profit target of 1.8 billion euros. (AFP)