British Airways owner IAG has reported a small Q3 profit despite “significant” fuel costs.
IAG posted Q3 operating profit of €1.46 billion on Friday (October 26), up €10 million on this time last year.
Fuel unit costs for the quarter rose 15% at constant currency, said IAG.
It comes a day after Norwegian warned rising fuel costs would likely have a wide-ranging impact on the entire aviation industry.
Flybe and Ryanair have both this month issued profit warnings, citing rising fuel costs as a major concern.
IAG passenger unit revenue for the quarter rose 1.3%, 2.4% at constant currency, while non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the quarter increased 0.5%, although down 0.7% at constant currency.
Q3 operating profit before exceptional items is up 7.3% to €2.575 billion from €2.4 billion this time last year.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh: “We’re reporting a good quarter three performance with an operating profit of €1,460 million before exceptional items, up from €1,450 million last year.
“These were strong results despite significant fuel cost and foreign exchange headwinds. At constant currency, our passenger unit revenue increased by 2.4 per cent while non-fuel unit costs went down 0.7 per cent.
“We’re pleased to announce an interim dividend of 14.5 euro cents per share and this week we completed our second €500 million share buy-back programme”.
Casting ahead, the group is forecasting full-year operating profits up €200 million on last year, despite fuel cost challenges.
“At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its operating profit before exceptional items for 2018 to show an increase of around €200m from a base of €2,950m in 2017,” said IAG in a trading statement, also issued on Friday.
“Both passenger unit revenue and non-fuel unit costs are expected to improve at constant currency for the full year.”
IAG’s Q3 results come a day after it revealed further details of a major security breach affecting BA customers.
In September, BA reported details relating to 380,000 payment cards used for transactions via the BA website and app had been compromised.
On Thursday (October 25), IAG said details of a further 185,000 payment cards may have been stolen in the attack.
The airline will notify an additional 77,000 payment cardholders that their names, billing address, email address and card payment information, including card number, expiry date and CVV security code, may have been compromised.
It is also notifying another 108,000 cardholders over similar stolen data, albeit not including their CVV code.
Customers who made reward bookings between April 21 and July 28, 2018, and used a payment card could be affected.