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$256 MILLION NET PROFIT IN SECOND QUARTER, BRITISH AIRWAYS 'ON ROAD TO RECOVERY'

                $256 MILLION NET PROFIT IN SECOND QUARTER,
                  BRITISH AIRWAYS 'ON ROAD TO RECOVERY'
    NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- British Airways (NYSE: BAB) today announced a net profit for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, 1991, of 146 million pounds sterling ($256 million), an increase of 26 percent, and for the half year of 152 million pounds ($266 million).
    Revenues for the quarter were 1.4 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) and for the half year 2.7 billion pounds ($4.7 billion).
    Chairman Lord King described the figures as "better than originally anticipated" and added that the airline's trading performance was "on the road to recovery."
    He said the airline remained profitable at a time when IATA estimated that the world's airlines could lose more than $5 billion this year on international flights alone.
    Despite increased competition at Heathrow in the last quarter, particularly on its North Atlantic routes, Lord King added that British Airways has maintained its market share.
    Earnings per American Depositary Share (ADS) for the second quarter rose 26.1 percent to 2.03 pounds ($3.55) and for the six months up 33 percent to 2.11 pounds ($3.69).
    The Board of British Airways has approved an interim dividend of 33.3 pence (0.59 cents) per ADS, payable on Jan. 17, 1992, to ADR shareholders of record as of Dec. 9, 1991.
     Looking ahead, Lord King said: "The outlook for the U.K. and U.S. economies remains uncertain.  Our own results for the year will depend on the timing of the economic recovery in the major markets we serve.
    "Our ambition remains to make British Airways unquestionably the best and most successful company in the airline industry worldwide," he added.
    For the second quarter, passengers carried were down 6.9 percent. The airline carried 8.5 percent fewer scheduled passengers in the half year and cargo ton miles were down 1.7 percent.
    For the second quarter, the passenger load factor was 76.1 percent against 77.8 percent last year.  Capacity on scheduled services, in terms of available seat miles, decreased by 2.6 percent in the six months, producing a passenger load factor of 72.7 percent against 75 percent last year.
    Revenue for the six months was down 2.4 percent at 2.7 billion pounds ($4.7 billion) against 2.75 billion pounds for the same period last year.
    Operating expenditure was virtually the same as last year at 2.5 billion pounds ($4.4 billion).  The operating surplus fell to 208 million pounds ($364 million) from 281 million pounds.  Staff costs have been maintained at close to last year's levels.
    Fleet depreciation and aircraft lease costs together show a small decrease, along with fuel and oil and engineering costs.  Handling charges include a substantial increase in security costs.
   During the second quarter, two McDonnell Douglas DC 10-30 aircraft were sold and immediately taken back on operating leases for a minimum period of five years. The profit arising from these transactions was included in other income and charges.
    Borrowings, net of cash balances, decreased by 363 million pounds, to 862 million pounds.  Capital and reserves at Sept. 30, 1991, amounted to 1.41 billion pounds ($2.47 billion) compared to 1.43 billion pounds last year.
    The net debt: total capital ratio was 37.9 percent.
    /NOTE: American dollar equivalent amounts are translated at the exchange rate at Sept. 30, 1991, of $1.75 against the pound sterling.
    The estimated dividend payable to holders of American Depositary Shares is translated at the current rate of exchange of $1.76 against the pound sterling and takes account of the UK government withholding tax.
    One American Depositary Share equals 10 UK ordinary shares./
    -0-                      11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Sandy Gardiner, 718-397-4725, John Lampl, 718-397-4729, or Mark Dunkerley, investor relations 718-397-4225, 202-331-9068, all of British Airways/
    (BAB) CO:  British Airways ST: IN:  AIR SU:  ERN JP -- NY003 -- 3246 11/12/91 02:30 EST
COPYRIGHT 1991 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 12, 1991
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