BA staff on target for profit

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Around 55,000 British Airways staff are set to receive substantial cash or shares payouts if the company achieves the pre-tax profits forecast by most analysts. The payments, which could be worth several thousand pounds each, are part of an expected pounds 100m bonus scheme.

The bonuses, worth the equivalent of up to four weeks' pay per employee, will be triggered if the company announces annual profits of around pounds 570m or more today, as expected.

Even if it does not, BA staff are almost certain to receive significant bonus payments, fixed at a week's salary for each pounds 100m of profits above a certain limit. Last year's limit was set at pounds 269m.

To achieve the pounds 570m target, BA would have to increase its profits 74 per cent above the previous year's result of pounds 327m. However, this is cut to a 26 per cent profits rise once the pounds 125m write-down of BA's holding in USAir is stripped out of the 1994/95 results.

The company's scheme assumes a minimum weekly wage for all its employees, meaning that the minimum bonus paid out in the event of the profits forecast being met would be pounds 1,200.