Virgin Atlantic has released its annual financial results, and is reporting a third successive year of profit.
For the year ended December 31st, the Virgin Atlantic Group reported a profit before tax and exceptional items of £23 million.
This represents a marginal improvement on the prior year, up £0.5 million, despite the challenging macro-environment conditions of 2016.
A major contributing factor was the strong performance of Virgin Holidays, which achieved a significant increase in profit before tax and exceptional items for the second year in succession.
Total group revenue for the year stood at £2.69 billion.
Virgin Atlantic also recorded an improved passenger load factor of 78.7 per cent, up 1.9 per cent year on year, as network changes made in 2014 continued to mature.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger said: “This was a year in which we faced significant external headwinds, so improving our profit and growing our market share in this challenging environment is testament to the hard work of our teams.
“We remained focused on our customers, with the second year of a three year £300 million investment programme, and delivered our best ever year operationally.
“We are committed to flying a younger and more fuel efficient fleet and in 2016 took delivery of four fantastic new Boeing 787-9s, while placing an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which at list price value at $4.4 billion.
“This investment sees our entire fleet replaced in a decade and will help our passengers to enjoy an even better experience with us.
“It remains an absolute focus for us to continue to improve customer satisfaction moving forward.”
Virgin Holidays’ profit before tax and exceptional items of £19.1 million represents a 75.2 per cent increase on the prior year, through higher passenger volume and margin.
Some 5,436,000 passengers flew on nearly 22,000 Virgin Atlantic flights to 26 non-stop destinations last year.