Friday 23 August 2019

On course: Walsh sticks to guidance even after profit drop

Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG)
Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Aer Lingus owner IAG held firm on its full year financial guidance despite a sharp drop in profits for the first three months of the year.

CEO Willie Walsh said that Easter falling in the second quarter had hit sales while oil prices and currency volatility hit profits in the first quarter.

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"All European airlines so far reported losses in the quarter. I think we're the first to report a profit," he said.

"A lot of capacity" was putting pressure on margins, he said, but added that IAG had increased traffic ahead of its own extra capacity.

IAG, which also owns BA, Iberia and Vueling and straddles the coming EU/UK divide, is "very comfortable" with its Brexit preparations, he said. First quarter operating profit pre-exceptionals was €135m, compared to €340m in the first quarter of 2018.

Irish Independent

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