BA and partner Iberia's losses down

British Airways and merger partner Iberia posted smaller losses today in the pair's first set of results since joining forces in January.

International Airlines Group said it benefited from improved passenger volumes, including from premium seats, as revenues for the three months to March 31 rose by 15% to 3.6 billion euro (£3.2 billion).



While fuel costs jumped by 31% to 1.1 billion euro (£985 million) in the period, pre-tax losses narrowed sharply to 47 million euro (£42.1 million), from 273 million euro for the equivalent three months a year earlier.



Former BA boss Willie Walsh, who is now chief executive of the combined group, said the integration of the business remained on track.



BA and Spain's Iberia have retained their brands in the merger, which is expected to save 400 million euro (£358.3 million) a year by its fifth year.



It is now the third largest scheduled airline group in Europe and the sixth largest in the world, based on revenues. The pair fly to more than 200 destinations on more than 400 aircraft and last year carried 55 million passengers.



IAG plans to expand aggressively and has reportedly drawn up a list of 12 other airlines it will consider buying.



Mr Walsh said costs excluding fuel were down 5.2% in the quarter after supplier and employee overheads both fell by 4.7% in the period.



He added: "The continued focus on cost control has been achieved while we have seen some measured increases in capacity.



"We have been able to increase capacity without additional aircraft and employees, highlighting the good work that has been done in previous years."



IAG's shares opened more than 3% higher after today's first-quarter update.













While the airline expects significant growth in operating profits this year, it warned recent events such as Japan's earthquake and upheaval in North Africa could dent profits by up to 100 million euro (£89.5 million).

It added: "Our long-haul business is stable, with strength in the premium sector, but the short-haul European market remains highly competitive."



Total fuel costs for the year will be 100 million euro higher than previously expected at 5.2 billion euro (£4.65 billion) and IAG warned that after recovering 50% of the cost impact through revenues in the first quarter it expected the task to become "progressively harder" as the year wore on.





The other area of concern for investors has been the Spanish domestic market, which has a high level of penetration by low-cost carriers.



Tony Shepard, an analyst at Charles Stanley stockbrokers, said: "Excluding the uncontrollable events, the operating performance of the new airline has been good."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss