International Airlines Group has reported pre-tax profits of €2.5 billion before exceptional items for the year to December 31st, 2016.
The figure is up 32.7 per cent on that of 2015.
However, the airline group – which operates British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – said the weak pound had hit final year profits by €460 million.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “For the full year, it was a good performance in a challenging environment with an operating profit of €2,535 million before exceptional items, up 8.6 per cent versus last year.
“In 2016, we carried more than 100 million passengers - double the number British Airways and Iberia carried in 2010, a year before IAG was created.”
Walsh said the group was committed to providing a sustainable dividend for shareholders, confirming that the board was proposing a final dividend of 12.5 euro cents per share.
“This brings the full year dividend to 23.5 euro cents per share, subject to shareholder approval at our AGM in June,” said Walsh.
He added: “Also today we’re announcing that we intend to carry out a share buyback of €500 million during the course of 2017 which may be implemented through one or more share buyback programmes.
“We have great confidence in IAG’s future prospects and are increasing cash returns to our shareholders.”
Overall revenue was down 1.3 per cent, while revenue per passenger fell 5.4 per cent.