Ticker IAG

Today's data summary

Market closed
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Price Pence
As of 17:24 17 Jul 2019
Market cap. Pound sterling
9,183.37 million
As of 17:24 17 Jul 2019

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CIO role will grow in importance

Meanwhile Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, reckons this morning's news is a sign of the growing importance of CIOs. He said:

The blockbuster fine imposed on British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines is proof of how important this issue is becoming for companies. Businesses keep more and more of our personal data and today’s news suggests that if they lose it, there are significant real-world consequences. For this reason chief information officers are likely to play an increasingly important role within most big companies.

BreakingBritish Airways to be fined £183m over customer data theft

British Airways

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has proposed fining British Airways £183.4m over the theft of customer data.

According to British Airways owner IAG, the penalty is equivalent to 1.5% of British Airways' worldwide turnover for the financial year ended 31 December 2017.

IAG says it intends to appeal the decision.

"We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding from the ICO," said British Airways chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz.

"British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers' data. We have found no evidence of fraud/fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft.

"We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused."

Norwegian Air shares jump


There's more speculation that IAG - owner of British Airways - could bid for Norwegian Air.

Shares in the budget carrier Norwegian Air rose after Spanish news website OKdiario reported late on Thursday that IAG would make an offer for Norwegian within a fortnight.

"We have said that we are no longer interested in Norwegian several times in the last few months. Nothing has changed," an IAG spokeswoman told Reuters.

Even so, shares in Norwegian rose more than 6%.

Subdued open for London stocks

Burberry fashion show

The FTSE 100 opened virtually unchanged at 7,608.54.

Shares in luxury fashion house Burberry led the blue chip risers, up 1.5% to £19.44.

But International Consolidated Airlines Group, which own British Airways, is the biggest faller, down 7.4% to 451p.

The FTSE 250 ticked marginally lower. Defence and engineering contractor Babcock International saw its shares drop 5% to 445.6p. Shares in peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle rose 5.6% to 128.4p.

IAG shares up


Shares in IAG are up 3.3% even though the owners of British Airways has reported a 61% fall in first quarter profits. Why?

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “It’s not every day you’ll see a company’s profits fall so sharply but the shares still rise. But when your competitors have slipped into a loss, it’s perhaps not a surprise.

"And it’s not just the resilient profits that separate IAG from the pack. While others have bemoaned how Brexit uncertainty has prevented customers from making advance bookings, IAG is seeing no such headwinds".

The main factor holding back profits is increased fuel prices, he adds, along with a rise in the dollar.

"While there’s little IAG can do about either of those factors, the group is confident it can offset these macro headwinds with cost efficiencies elsewhere, such that profits come in level with last year. That would be an impressive achievement in the current climate.”

No growth in IAG profit

Getty Images

IAG, the owner of British Airways, has also issued an outlook statement for the rest of the year.

It says: "At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its 2019 operating profit before exceptional items to be in line with 2018 pro forma.

"Passenger unit revenue is expected to be flat at constant currency and non-fuel unit cost is expected to improve at constant currency.

"We expect passenger unit revenue at constant currency to improve for the remainder of the year".