International Consolidated Airlines Group has reported first quarter operating profit of €170 million before exceptional items, up from €155 million during the same period last year.
Passenger unit revenue for the three months to March 31st was down 7.2 per cent, or down 3.1 per cent at constant currency.
Non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the quarter were down 3.9 per cent, or up 1.4 per cent at constant currency.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “We’re reporting an operating profit of €170 million before exceptional items which is up from €155 million compared to last year.
“This is a record performance in quarter one, traditionally our weakest quarter, with the improving trend in passenger unit revenue continuing.
“The impact of currency exchange was €32 million in the quarter due to the translation of sterling profit into euros.”
Adjusted net debt to EBITDAR improved by 0.3 to 1.5 times at IAG over the period.
At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its operating profit for 2017 to show an improvement year-on-year.
The group also expects quarter two passenger unit revenue (passenger revenue per ASK) to show an increase versus last year, at constant currency.
IAG also launched low-cost, long-haul carrier Level during the first quarter.
“In March we launched LEVEL, our new long-haul low cost airline brand, which starts flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Punta Cana and Buenos Aires in June,” added Walsh.
“It’s already been extremely successful with sales running well ahead of expectations.”