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BRITISH AIRWAYS MAINTAINS PROFIT MOMENTUM $199 MILLION NET PROFIT IN SECOND QUARTER,

 NEW YORK, Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- British Airways today announced a net profit for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, 1992, of 112 million pounds sterling ($199 million) which resulted in a 20 percent increase for the half year to 182 million pounds sterling ($324 million).
 Revenues for the quarter were up 5.2 percent to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) and up 7.6 percent for the half year to 2.9 billion pounds ($5.1 billion).
 Earnings per American Depositary Share (ADS) basic, for the second quarter, were 1.51 pounds ($2.69) and, for the six months, up 17 percent to 2.47 pounds ($4.40).
 The board of British Airways has approved an interim dividend of 34.7 pence (53 cents) per ADS, payable on Jan. 22, 1993, to ADR shareholders of record as of Dec. 11, 1992.
 While Lord King, the chairman, described the results as "not at the level we would like," he said they were a credit at a time when the world's international airlines overall are predicting their third year of losses totalling more than $2.5 billion.
 "While we continue to achieve results which are the envy of our competitors we, like them, have suffered from the effects of recession in many of our key markets around the globe.
 "This, with the consequent competitive pressures which we have faced, has continued to affect our results adversely, particularly in the second quarter, despite continued growth in both our passenger and cargo traffic."
 Borrowings, net of cash balances, increased by 21 million pounds to 1.1 billion pounds during the six months. Capital and reserves, increased by 177 million pounds to 1.8 billion pounds.
 The net debt to total capital ratio was 40.1 percent, a decrease of 2.1 percent since March of last year.
 Passenger traffic on scheduled services over the six months rose 9.7 percent to 13,693,000. Revenue passenger miles rose by 14.8 percent and cargo ton miles were up 8 percent. In the second quarter 7,060,000 passengers were carried, up 7.4 percent with RPMs rising 12.7 percent.
 Over the course of the last six months, British Airways has:
 -- Finalized arrangements to acquire the assets of Dan Air and its scheduled services from London's Gatwick Airport to Europe;
 -- Signed an agreement to buy 49.9 percent of TAT European Airlines based in France;
 -- Formed British Airways Regional to operate domestic and international services from Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland;
 -- Acquired a 49 percent holding in Deutsche BA in Germany in partnership with three German banks.
 And, in July, British Airways announced its intention to invest $750 million for 44 percent of the equity and 21 percent of the voting stock of USAir.
 "The extensive publicity and lobbying campaign against this agreement by certain US airlines have only reconfirmed our view that the proposed investment is a major step towards achieving our stated policy of becoming a truly global airline and strengthening our position as the world's leading international carrier," said Lord King.
 Both airlines, he added, remain confident that the regulatory authorities will recognize the extensive economic and other benefits to be derived from the arrangements, and that necessary approvals will be given.
 Looking ahead, the chairman indicated that prospects for the second half of the year remained uncertain. "We do not expect to see an increase in demand for our premium brands until there is sustained economic recovery in the major markets we serve," he said.
 "We continue to drive to control margins and cost ratios, and we expect to exceed our 150 million pounds annual ongoing cost savings targeted for this year.
 "We are well positioned to take advantage of eventual economic recovery in our major markets and our financial strength continues to enable us to invest strongly to achieve sustained long-term profit growth," he concluded.
 NOTES: American dollar equivalent amounts are translated at the exchange rate at Sept. 30, 1992, of $1.78 against the pound sterling.
 The estimated dividend payable to holders of American Depositary Shares is translated at the current rate of exchange of $1.52 against the pound sterling and takes account of the UK government withholding tax.
 One American Depositary Share equals 10 UK ordinary shares.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Sandy Gardiner, 718-397-4725, John Lampl, 718-397-4729 (public affairs), or Mark Dunkerley, investor relations, 202-331-9068, all of British Airways~
 (BAB)


CO: British Airways ST: New York IN: AIR SU: ERN

AH -- NY001 -- 1599 11~17~92 02:30 EST
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Date:Nov 17, 1992
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