#1. International Consolidated Airlines
Being a Friday we’ve got the usual slim pickings from the early corporate announcements, but IAG, the owner of British Airways, has published its latest quarterly update. Investors are likely to cheer the 75% increase in operating profits from the same period last year. Costs (excluding fuel) are falling, whilst the timing of Easter is also seen to have benefitted these numbers, but with a growing cash reserve the airline group is certainly well positioned to handle the next slowdown.
Keeping with the aviation sector, easyJet published its April traffic figures today. The airline has seen a 4.7% increase in passengers carried over the same period last year, whilst the load factor – the percentage of seats sold on each plane – ticked up to 93.4%. That’s still a little short of the 95% + figures being recorded by Ryanair but the direction of travel certainly remains positive.
Surprise news from HSBC which has just published its Q1 results this morning. Profits came in $200 million lower than had been forecast after higher than expected operating costs took a toll on the business. There is a sweetener for shareholders with news of a $2 billion share buy back, but that shortfall in profitability is still likely to leave a bitter taste.