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Corporate Reports

IAG airlines group returns to annual net profit

International Airlines Group has reported it's back in positive territory after suffering a hefty net loss in 2012. The firm last year posted healthy profits mainly because of a strong performance by British Airways.

IAG reported Friday it booked a net profit of 122 million euros ($167 million) in 2013, after posting a net loss of 716 million euros a year earlier.

The group's revenues grew by 3.1 percent to 18.7 billion euros last year, with fuel costs decreasing by 2.5 percent.

IAG pointed to its best horse in the stable, British Airways (BA), but also explicitly mentioned the contribution made by the newly acquired Spanish low-budget carrier Vueling.

Iberia progress

Angry Iberia staff

"In 2013, we strengthened the group by taking over Vueling, embarking on Iberia's transformation and enhancing British Airways' revenue performance," CEO Willie Walsh said in a statement. "This has led to a strong financial recovery and return to profitability."

While Iberia remained a loss-making component overall, the airline was reported to have made huge progress in cost control and restructuring. Walsh recalled a recent pay agreement between Iberia and its pilot and cabin crew unions would be key to reducing the carrier's costs further and providing the foundation for profitable growth.

Despite IAG's impressive overall results, the group's shares dipped in early trading on Friday as investors chose to engage in some profit-taking after the stock had almost doubled in value within a year.

hg/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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