Virgin Atlantic profits rise for second consecutive year as it plots bullish course and says it expects further growth

James Nickerson
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Virgin reported a second consecutive year of profit in 2015 (Source: Getty)

Virgin Atlantic has reported an increase in pre-tax pre-exceptional items profit in 2015, benefiting from lower fuel costs.

Profit before tax and exceptional items were reported at £22.5m, up £10.1m from the year ending December 2014. Last year it returned to profit after three years of losses.

Group revenues fell four per cent to £2.78bn and passenger numbers dropped to 5.94m, compared with 6.2m in 2014.

"We achieved these improved results in a year in which we also transformed our business and network, laying the foundations for a robust and enduring Virgin Atlantic," said Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic's chief executive.

He added: "Having successfully returned to profit, this was the first full year of our four-year plan to deliver long-term success and profitability. We remained focused on our customers and it is a testament to our people that our satisfaction scores have continued to improve - I want to thank them for the tremendous work they do, every day."

The company was helped by the falling price of oil, which provided fuel cost savings. However, the benefit was limited by hedging losses which came in at £198m, it said.

Virgin Atlantic added that it did not benefit fully from the fall in the price of oil, but its hedging position will continue to unwind and give it significant savings in 2016.

The airline's joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines continues to strengthen, it said. The partnershup has given Virgin Atlantic the ability to counter a stronger threat to British Airways.

The growth was driven by both Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.

Virgin Holidays reported a profit before tax and exceptional items of £10.9m, a £5m year on year improvement, which accounts for almost half of the overall profit figure.

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