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British Airways loses GBP331 million in March quarter, yields down 16%

British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh
British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh

Results for the full year to 31-Mar-09 were:

· Operating loss of GBP220 million, including restructuring costs of GBP78 million (2008: £878 million profit - restated)

· Loss before tax of GBP401 million (2008: GBP922 million profit - restated)

· Revenue £8,992 million (2008: GBP8,758 million - restated)

In the most recent quarter, to 31-Mar-09, Group revenue was down 8.4%, to GBP1.9 billion on operating costs up 13.3%, resulting in an operating loss of GBP309 million.  Excluding fuel costs and the impact of exchange, operating costs were down 5.5% in the quarter.  Quarter 4 loss before tax was GBP331 million. Passenger revenue for the quarter was down 8.0%. Yields were down 2.5%, down 16.0% excluding exchange - so that the GB pound's weakness has come to the airline's rescue during the quarter. BA's shares lost 3.6% yesterday in the lead-up to the results announcement.

A bleak outlook

British Airways' chairman Martin Broughton said: "In the last twelve months we have gone from a record profit to a record loss due to the current tough economic environment. That only serves to underline the extremely difficult trading conditions that we are facing, despite our best ever operational performance, and any recovery is likely to take longer than initially envisaged. The revenue outlook continues to be weak during the current financial year but we expect lower fuel prices to reduce our fuel costs by approximately GBP400 million."


In response to trading conditions, capacity was reduced by 3.1% in Winter 2008 and 2.5% in Summer 2009 compared to the previous year.  We will continue to reduce capacity by taking out around a further 4.0% in Winter 2009.

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