The owner of British Airways has posted record first quarter results, despite the collapse in sterling weighing on the firm.
International Airlines Group (IAG) said operating profit rose 9.7 per cent to €170 million (£144m) in the three months to the end of March, traditionally the weakest quarter of the year for airlines.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This is a record performance in the first quarter, traditionally our weakest quarter, with the improving trend in passenger unit revenue continuing.”
However, revenues fell 2.8 per cent to €4.9 billion, and the firm was forced to stomach a €32m hit from the collapse in the value of the Brexit-battered pound.
IAG issued a profit warning after the EU referendum on 23 June, and in October warned that ticket prices may have to rise as a result of sterling’s slump.
In March the group, which also owns the Aer Lingus and Iberia airlines, launched Level, a new long-haul low-cost airline brand. Walsh said that Level was proving a success with “sales running well ahead of expectations”.
IAG added that it expects operating profit for 2017 to show an improvement year-on-year.