Iberia achieves a record result and positions itself as "one of the most profitable airlines" in this period
IAG registered losses after taxes and exceptional items of 87 million euros during the first quarter of this year, which represents a decrease of 88.9% compared to the same period of the previous year, as notified by the company to the National Commission of the Stock Market (CNMV).
IAG's operating profit was €9 million compared to a loss of €718 million the previous year. Between January and March, the total income of the 'holding' stood at 5,889 million euros, 71% more, of which 5,041 came from ticket revenue (89.9%).
Regarding the item of expenses, the increase in fuel stands out, which rose 91.5% to 1,758 million euros. The item maintenance and fleet expenses grew by 56.5%, reaching 587 million.
"IAG has recorded solid financial results in the first quarter, a period in which the Group's airlines recovered capacity to approximate pre-pandemic levels," said the group's CEO, Luis Gallego, in a statement.
"Iberia posted record profit in the first quarter and all of our airlines beat forecasts, benefiting from strong demand and lower fuel prices during the quarter," he added.
The group's total debt at March 31, 2023 was 19,767 million euros, 1.1% less than at December 31, 2022. Net debt (total debt less cash, equivalent liquid assets and short-term interest-bearing deposits ) was 8,398 million euros as of March 31, 2023, 19.1% less than at the end of December last year.
Total liquidity as of March 31, 2023 was 15,081 million euros, 7.7% more compared to the 13,999 million euros as of December 31, 2022.
The good results of all the airlines are mainly due to the demand for leisure on all routes. Iberia has obtained the best results in a first quarter of its history and "one of the most profitable airlines in the world" throughout these three months. The company has benefited from "especially strong" demand in Spain and Latin America, as well as on routes to the United States. Also, demand for business travel is picking up "slightly faster than other airlines."
In the case of Aer Lingus, which has a greater seasonal exposure than the others, it is registering a high level of demand in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean, while the shorthaul is experiencing some weakness.
For its part, British Airways returned to a first-quarter profit for the first time since the first quarter of 2019 and reports strong demand for leisure travel across most of the network, while business travel is picking up more. slowly.
Lastly, Vueling's strategy of increasing capacity to leisure destinations during the winter season has improved unit revenues and load factors, which also translates into higher and more sustainable complementary revenues.
46% MORE PASSENGERS
The group has continued to restore its capacity and it is now approaching current pandemic levels. Thus, during the first three months, capacity, measured in seats per kilometer offered, increased by 46% compared to last year and is 5% below that of the first quarter of 2019.
The group's airlines transported 24.2 million passengers during the first quarter of the year, 68.9% more than the previous year.
The demand registered by the group grew by 64.9%, while the load factor stood at 81.5%, 9.3 percentage points more than last year and 0.8 above 2019.
THEY IMPROVE THEIR FORECASTS
The company highlights that the demand for tickets remains strong on all IAG airlines and in all regions, especially for leisure customers. For this reason, they estimate that the capacity for the exercise will be over 97% of the capacity of 2019.
However, there are certain uncertainties that affect the sector, such as the "continued volatility" of the geopolitical and macroeconomic environments, limited visibility on the reserves for the second half of the year and other issues in the operating environment such as strikes.
For all these reasons, the company expects that the profit from operations for the whole before exceptional items for the whole of 2023 will be higher than the highest range of the previous forecast, of between 1,800 and 2,300 million euros.
They also expect the net debt, as of December 31, 2023, to decrease year-on-year, improving the forecast that it would remain stable.