Shares in International Consolidated Airlines (LON:IAG) have jumped nearly five percent in London this morning as the British Airways and Iberia parent posted a rise in quarterly profits, having benefitted from currency tailwinds. The company, which also owns Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers Vueling and Level, further disclosed that it had held talks with Norwegian regarding a possible offer without reaching an agreement.
As of 09:48 BST, IAG’s share price had added 4.46 percent to 669.20p, outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.39 percent higher at 7,532.21 points. The group’s shares have added more than 17 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near four-percent rise in the Footsie.
IAG posts Q1 results
IAG announced in a statement this morning that its operating profit before exceptional items had surged to €280 million in the first quarter of the year, as compared with the prior-year period’s restated profit of €160 million. The British Airways parent disclosed that it had benefitted from favourable currency movements of €58 million, which helped offset higher fuel unit costs.
“Our positive passenger unit revenue trend continued with an increase of 3.5 percent at constant currency. This trend benefitted partially from the timing of Easter,” the group’s chief executive Willie Walsh commented in the statement. Going forward, the company noted that it continues to expect its operating profit for the current year to show an increase year-on-year, with both passenger unit revenue and non-fuel unit costs expected to improve at constant currency.
Reuters meanwhile reported that IAG had held talks with the board of Norwegian regarding a possible offer without reaching an agreement.
“IAG is currently considering its options in relation to Norwegian,” the company said in presentation slides. The update comes after the British Airways parent revealed last month that it had taken up a near five-percent stake in the low-cost carrier with a view to making an offer for the airline.