BA reveals profits boost

  British Airways has presented its interim management report for the first six months of the year with an operating profit of £556 million, compared to £442 million in 2006.Other highlights include:

- Operating margin 12.5 per cent (2006: 9.8 per cent)
- Profit before tax of £593 million (2006: £471 million)
- Longhaul fleet order announced
- T5 customer trials started September 17, 2007
- Full year fuel costs expected to top £2 billion
- 10 per cent operating margin on track

British Airways’ chief executive Willie Walsh, said:

“These are record results which are driven by all the hard work our people put in last year to tackle the cost base of our business.  Profits are up some 26 per cent and costs are down nearly 4 per cent.  Fuel costs remain a major challenge and our fuel bill for the year is expected to top £2 billion for the first time. We see every possibility of achieving our 10 per cent operating margin by March 2008.

“Our business plans for the future are gaining real momentum.  We announced an order for 36 new longhaul aircraft that are greener, quieter and technically more advanced.  Both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 are truly 21st century aircraft with huge potential. The Airbus A380 will work well on high density routes and the Boeing 787 gives us the flexibility to open new routes and grow existing ones. These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance in CO2 emission, local air quality and noise.  They will contribute significantly to our target of improving fuel efficiency by 25 per cent between 2005 and 2025.


“Further good news was our welcome return to investment grade which helped us negotiate the finance for aircraft deliveries until 2011, despite the current difficulties in the markets. 

“Terminal 5 is now only 145 days away.  Before its opening on March 27, 2008 our new home will have undergone trials involving thousands of volunteers.  The first major public trials begin this weekend to ensure customers can speed through check-in and chill out for the ultimate experience.  Our people are determined to ensure it will be a national success story Britain can be proud of.

“More good news for our customers will be the removal of restrictions on hand-baggage which we expect soon. This will go a long way to relieving the hassle factor of the one bag limit.  At the same time we continue to staff up to record levels in the terminals and have improved our direct baggage performance in recent weeks. This is despite the 15 per cent increase in hold baggage.”