IAG operating profit expected not to grow in 2019

IAG operating profit expected not to grow in 2019

International Consolidation Airlines Group (LON:IAG) posted its first quarter results on Friday, revealing that its operating profit will not grow during the current year.

The owner of British Airways said that, given current fuel prices and exchange rates, its 2019 operating profit before exceptional items will be in line with that of 2018.

It did, however, say that it expects passenger unit revenue at constant currency to improve for the remainder of the year.

For the quarter, profit after tax before exceptional items amounted to €70 million, down 62.6%.

“In a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter, we remained profitable and are reporting an operating profit of €135 million,” Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, commented on the results.

“At constant currency, non-fuel unit costs were down 0.6 per cent while passenger unit revenue decreased by 1.4 per cent,” the Chief Executive Officer continued.

For the first quarter, IAG’s operating profit amounted to €135 million before exceptional items. Passenger unit revenue for the quarter was down 0.8%, and down 1.4% at constant currency.

IAG said that fuel unit costs for the quarter were up 15.8%, 11.1% at constant currency.

Elsewhere in aviation, several airlines have been struggling lately, with Cobalt airline suspending all operations and WOW air suspending all flights amid financial difficulties.

Ryanair (LON:RYA) began the year posting a loss for the third quarter, joining the list of airlines facing increasing costs and overcapacity.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air (LON:WIZZ) profits plummeted in the third quarter, as rising fuel and staff costs hit its earnings.

Airlines have also revealed the damage caused by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with American Airlines revealing a $350 million blow.