NEWS British Airways owner IAG sees profits rise

International Airlines Group has reported higher annual profits thanks to cost-cutting and lower fuel prices.

It is Europe’s largest airline group with British Airways, Spain’s Iberia, the Irish carrier Aer Lingus and cargo and low cost units.

Annual operating profit rose 8.6 percent to 2.5 billion euros, but the slump in the value of the British pound after the Brexit vote cost it 460 million euros.

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IAG said said it expects higher profits this year and plans to return 500 million euros to investors by buying back shares.

CEO Willie Walsh said that across IAG he expected 2.5 percent capacity growth in 2017, with Irish airline Aer Lingus expected to grow quicker than British Airways.

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