British Airways Owner IAG Posts 45% Jump in Quarterly Earnings

IAG Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh

For the second quarter, operating profit of €805m was reported, compared with €555m for the same quarter in 2016.

International Consolidated Airlines Group on Friday said that the compensation fees and baggage claims related to "operational disruption", due to that massive power failure over the second May bank holiday, had cost €65m.

The firm also was forced to stomach €44 million (£39.3 million) hit from the collapse in the value of the Brexit-hit pound.

"We're reporting a very strong performance in quarter 2", the group's chief executive Willie Walsh commented in the statement, adding that the company had partially benefitted from Easter and a weak base a year ago.

In March, the group, which also owns the Aer Lingus and Iberia airlines, launched Level, a new long-haul, low-priced airline brand.

"The underlying trend in unit revenue improved, benefitting partially from Easter and a weak base previous year".

"In June, Level started long-haul flights from Barcelona to four destinations".

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"Sales continue to be well ahead of our expectations", he added.

Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said the group was reporting "a very strong performance" and that passenger unit-revenue - a measure of fares - should gain in the second half at constant currencies, spurring 12-month profit growth of at least 10 percent. "Clearly what we see in terms of our performance does appear to be somewhat different to what others are saying", Walsh told reporters.

"But we're calling it as we see it and our first half performance was very strong".

The quarterly figures beat consensus estimates by 9 percent, analysts at RBC said, adding that guidance of a double-digit improvement in operating profits supported their view that summer 2017 would be strong.

Unite said that the firm's profits showed British Airways could afford to resolve the industrial dispute with its mixed-fleet cabin crew workers.

"It is, frankly, obscene to keep thousands of BA's workforce on poverty pay at the same time as the company makes millions of pounds".

IAG's share price has been volatile this morning, having lost 0.67 percent to 590.00p as of 10:31 BST, after surging more than 0.7 percent earlier in the session.

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