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 Virgin Atlantic profits soar

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MesajSubiect: Virgin Atlantic profits soar   Mar 26 Mai 2009, 11:45

Titlu: Virgin Atlantic profits soar
Virgin Atlantic made £68.4m despite recession and oil price rises
Sursa: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/26/virgin-atlantic-airline-profits
Autor: Press Association guardian.co.uk
Data: 26.05.2009

Citat :
Virgin Atlantic has announced that it has almost doubled annual profits, just a few days after rival British Airways reported a record loss.

The airline said pre-tax profits soared from £34.8m to £68.4m in the year to February, despite a backdrop of volatile oil prices and the deep recession.

The results contrast with BA's record annual operating loss of £401m, reported last Friday, after its fuel bill reached almost £3bn.

Virgin Atlantic, which is majority owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, flew 5.8 million passengers over the period, helped by higher numbers of premium travellers.

BA reported a 13% fall in premium travellers for the second half of its financial year.

Virgin spent almost £1bn on fuel last year, but profits were aided by currency benefits and its hedging of oil prices, which hit $147 a barrel last July.

Virgin Atlantic, which celebrates its 25th birthday in June, has a fleet of 38 aircraft and 8,500 staff. They will receive 10% of the airline's profits haul in bonus payouts.

Branson said: "To increase profits against a backdrop of such a severe recession is an excellent achievement by all of our staff."

The chief executive, Steve Ridgway, said Virgin had increased its market share, but expected the current trading year to be much tougher.

"We are just managing the business to make sure we remain strong and hang on to our cash," he said.

But Virgin hit out at rival BA's plans for a transatlantic joint business with American Airlines and Iberia, which it said would hit competition on key routes to the US.

BA has said it is confident of gaining approval from US authorities in the next six months but Branson said the decision was "the first big test" for President Obama's competition policy.

"I am sure that the Department of Transportation will put the interests of consumers first rather than bow to the influence of the big-spending airline, with strong political connections," he said.
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