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IAG: fourth-quarter profit down, but 2017 numbers up

(CercleFinance.com) - IAG's operating profit slightly fell in the fourth quarter, although all the airline group's indicators are up for full-year 2017.

The owner of British Airways said that its fourth-quarter operating profit before extraordinary items decreased to 585 million euros, compared with 620 million euros in fourth-quarter 2016.

However, IAG said it had a "very good full year performance," posting an operating profit of 3 billion euros before extraordinary items, up 19% compared to 2016, on passenger unit revenue that was up 1.5%.

"All our airlines performed extremely well with their best-ever individual financial results," the group said, insisting on the "outstanding" turnaround of Vueling.

IAG will also propose a final dividend of 14.5 cents to shareholders, bringing its full-year dividend to 27 cents per share, with the group announcing a share buyback of 500 million euros in 2018.

For 2018, IAG simply said it expects its operating profit to "show an increase year-on-year". However, these comments did not seem to please investors: The London-listed IAG share is currently down 3.5% in early morning trading today.

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