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BA-owner IAG reiterates flat profit guidance as fuel prices weigh

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BA-owner IAG reiterates flat profit guidance as fuel prices weigh
FILE PHOTO: British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay   -   Copyright  Hannah Mckay(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways owner IAG on Friday reiterated that there would be no growth in operating profit in 2019 due to pressure from higher fuel prices as it posted first quarter results in line with expectations.

The airlines group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, said first quarter operating profit was 135 million euros (116.88 million pounds), compared to consensus analyst expectations of 136 million euros.

“In a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter, we remained profitable,” said Chief Executive Willie Walsh.

IAG said operating profit in 2019 would be in line with the 2018 outcome at current fuel prices and exchange rates.

The firm said that profit after tax before exceptional items was down 62.6 percent to 70 million euros.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by James Davey)

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