British Airways owner announces soaring annual profit

International Airlines Group, owner of BA and Iberia, said Friday that net profit surged 52 per cent last year on tumbling fuel prices and its purchase of Irish carrier Aer Lingus.

Profit after tax jumped to 1.495 billion euros (S$2.3 billion) in 2015 compared with 982 million euros one year earlier, IAG said in an earnings statement.

"We're reporting very strong full year results," said IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, adding that Aer Lingus had made a contribution of 35 million euros in operating profit since it joined the group in August.

"It's undoubtedly been a good year but it's also been challenging with extreme volatility in the currency and fuel markets.

"The benefits gained from lower fuel prices have been partially offset by the stronger US dollar," he added.

IAG said it expects to make further strong operating profit gains in 2016.