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British Airways owner posts surging profits

© AFP/File Pascal PavaniBritish Airways owner IAG made net profit of 982 million euros last year, up from 122 million euros in 2013London (AFP) – International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, announced surging annual profits on Friday thanks to sliding fuel prices and a turnaround at its Spanish unit.
IAG reported a profit after tax of 982 million euros for last year compared with net profit of 122 million euros in 2013, the company hoping to buy Irish carrier Aer Lingus said in an earnings statement.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said the business was lifted by “increased productivity, supplier cost savings … boosted by the introduction of more efficient aircraft into our fleet and lower fuel prices in the last quarter of the year”.
Spanish unit Iberia meanwhile made an annual operating profit of 50 million euros compared to an operating loss of 166 million euros in 2013.
“The airline’s turnaround has been remarkable, both financially and operationally, and we’re very proud of its achievement especially its strong cost discipline. In 2013 we said our intention was for Iberia to breakeven in 2014 and it has fulfilled that promise,” Walsh said.
Last month saw Qatar Airways snap up almost 10 percent of IAG, in the second European entry by a Gulf carrier. The move follows Abu Dhabi’s Etihad taking last year a 49-percent stake in Alitalia, effectively rescuing the struggling Italian company.

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