IAG airlines group slashes first quarter losses

GMT 11:07 2015 Thursday ,30 April

Arab Today, arab today IAG airlines group slashes first quarter losses

IAG airlines group
London - AFP

British Airways-owner International Airlines Group said Thursday that it slashed its first-quarter losses on increased transatlantic business, cost controls and an ongoing recovery at its Spanish wing Iberia.

Losses after tax stood at 26 million euros ($29 million) in the three months to the end of March, IAG said in a results statement. That compared with a much larger loss of 184 million euros a year earlier.

The group meanwhile rebounded into an operating profit of 25 million euros. That contrasted with an operating loss of 150 million euros last time around.

Sales climbed 12 percent to 4.707 billion euros in the reporting period. That beat expectations of 4.6 billion, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The group was helped by tight cost controls at British Airways, Iberia and Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling.

"There was a strong improvement both at a group level and with all three airlines," said chief executive Willie Walsh in the earnings release, noting also that there was a "consistent positive performance" in North America.

IAG is meanwhile pressing ahead with drumming up support for its 1.35 billion euros takeover bid for Aer Lingus.

However, it needs the support of Ryanair, which holds almost 30 percent of the former Irish national carrier.

IAG is also looking to convince the Irish government to sell its 25.1 percent stake, with Dublin stating it needs further commitments on connectivity and employment.

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