BA owner IAG reports big rise in profit

British Airways planes Image copyright PA

British Airways and Iberia's parent company IAG reported a 64% rise in yearly pre-tax profits to €1.8bn (£1.4bn), helped in part by lower fuel prices.

Fuel costs for the year were down 6.3%, and would have been 17.2% lower, but for a rise in the value of the dollar.

IAG reports figures in euros but buys its fuel in dollars. Over the year the euro fell in value against the dollar.

IAG said it had "undoubtedly been a good year".

However, it added it had also been challenging because of the big movements in the currency and fuel markets and that "the benefits gained from lower fuel prices have been partially offset by the stronger US dollar".

The price of oil has dropped around 50% over the year.

IAG, whose airlines also include Vueling and Aer Lingus, said it was expecting next year's full-year profit to show similar growth to this year's. The company said it was on course to make an operating profit of €3.2bn next year.

A number of top 100 UK company heads have been giving their views this week as to whether or not the UK should stay in the European Union.

Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive told the BBC he didn't think it would make much difference one way or the other to his business: "We've undertaken a risk analysis and we don't believe a vote will have a material impact on our business."

He also repeated his previous view on the chances of a third runway at Heathrow, saying he did not think one would be built because the government continued to delay decision making.

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