British Airways owner IAG share price rises 4.7 per cent at the open despite revenue and profit falling

Caitlin Morrison
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IAG owns British Airways, among other brands (Source: Getty)

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) has reported a decline in revenue, profit and passenger numbers during the three months to 31 March.

The figures

Passenger revenue was down 4.2 per cent to €4.28bn (£3.63bn) from €4.47bn in the first quarter of last year, while total revenue dropped 2.8 per cent from €5.1bn to €4.9bn.

Operating profit after exceptional items fell 10 per cent from €168m to €151m, and profit after tax plunged 74 per cent to €27m from €104m.

Available seat kilometres, a measure of the airline's capacity, was up 3.3 per cent to 68.3bn from 66.2bn.

Shares in the carrier were up 4.7 per cent at the open.

Why it's interesting

IAG is one of the FTSE 100 companies most vulnerable to currency fluctuations, as it charges customers in pounds and reports in euros. In the second quarter of last year, this had a negative impact of €148m on IAG.

The British Airways parent company revealed today that it was hit by weaker sterling to the tune of €32m during the first quarter of 2017. However, despite the impact of changed exchange rates, the airline's results for the period were ahead of expectations.

Analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald also pointed out that while IAG's outlook statement is limited, "it reiterates that the group expects profits to improve year-on-year".

What IAG said

"We're reporting an operating profit of €170m before exceptional items which is up from €155m compared to last year," said chief executive Willie Walsh.

"This is a record performance in Q1, traditionally our weakest quarter, with the improving trend in passenger unit revenue continuing."

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