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BRITISH AIRWAYS PROFIT CLIMBS TO $133 MILLION AS FIRST QUARTER REVENUE RISES 10.4 PERCENT

 BRITISH AIRWAYS PROFIT CLIMBS TO $133 MILLION
 AS FIRST QUARTER REVENUE RISES 10.4 PERCENT
 NEW YORK, Aug.11 /PRNewswire/ -- British Airways today announced its fiscal first quarter net profit has climbed to 70 million pounds sterling ($133 million) from 6 million pounds a year ago.
 Group revenue for the period, April 1 through June 30, rose 10.4 percent to 1.4 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) from 1.3 billion pounds for the same quarter last year. The operating surplus was 96 million pounds ($182 million), up from 43 million pounds.
 Earnings per American Depository Share (ADS), on a fully diluted basis, were 84 pence ($1.60) compared to 14 pence for the same period last year.
 Chairman Lord King said the result shows a gradual return to more normal trading conditions from the combined effects of the Gulf war and economic recession in major markets served by the airline.
 The profit also reflects the company's sustained efforts to maintain high levels of customer service in a highly competitive market while still reducing costs - with a 22 percent increase in productivity helping to push unit costs down by 7.4 percent.
 The airline also is on track to achieve its planned 150 million pounds cost-savings in the second phase of its three-year ongoing program.
 The business generated an overall net cash inflow of 93 million pounds ($177 million) after covering financing charges and spending on fixed assets and investments.
 Borrowings, net of cash, short-term loans and deposits at June 30, totalled 991 million pounds ($1.9 billion) - down 181 million pounds on the financial year-end.
 Capital and reserves increased to 1.7 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) from 1.3 billion pounds a year ago and the net debt: total capital ratio was 37 percent, a five point improvement since March 31 this year.
 Passenger numbers increased by 15.5 percent on 12 months ago, with 7.2 million people carried. Most of this recovery came from growth in the World and Euro Traveller economy cabins.
 Continued economic difficulties in several major markets meant business traffic remained depressed, although some strengthening is being seen in the second quarter.
 Depressed premium demand has been a principal factor in the 6.5 percent decline in passenger yield for the period.
 With further market share gains at London, the airline's home base, scheduled passenger load factors rose 2.5 points on a year ago to 71.6 percent.
 Cargo traffic was also affected by economic stagnation, and by excess capacity in the market, suffering similar declines in yield. However, higher overall load factors helped hold the decline in the key performance indicator, total traffic revenue per available ton miles, to just 3.6 percent.
 Of the conditional agreement to invest $750 million in USAir, announced last month, Lord King said: "Both airlines are confident that the regulatory authorities concerned will recognize the extensive customer, economic and other benefits that will result from the arrangements, which are wholly consistent with relevant legal requirements, and that all necessary approvals will be given."
 Looking ahead, he said that forward bookings for the second quarter were strong. But, he added, passenger yields would continue to be under pressure from a strong sterling and depressed premium demand, with the economies of several major markets remaining difficult.
 Overall, Lord King affirmed: "We are well positioned to take advantage of any improvement in trading conditions."
 NOTE: American dollar equivalent amounts are translated at the exchange rate at June 30, 1992, of 1 pounds to $1.90. One American Depository Share equals 10 UK ordinary shares.
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: Sandy Gardiner, 718-397-4725, John Lampl, 718-397-4729, or Mark Dunkerley, 718-397-4225, all of British Airways/
 (BAB) CO: British Airways ST: New York IN: AIR SU: ERN


TM -- NY001 -- 8766 08/11/92 02:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 11, 1992
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