Leisure travel boom fuels IAG's 2023 recovery, no dividend paid

International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG), owner of British Airways and Iberia, reported a strong rebound in 2023, with profits tripling as travel demand, particularly for leisure trips, boomed. The company’s share price rose nearly 2% on the news early morning, reflecting investor confidence in its recovery.

IAG’s pre-tax profit for the year surged to €3.06 billion, compared to €415 million in 2022. This growth was driven by a 28% increase in revenue, reaching €29.45 billion, fueled by significant capacity restoration and improved unit economics.

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The company highlighted a robust performance from its Spanish businesses, with operating profit more than doubling to €1.4 billion in 2023. Additionally, its loyalty program, IAG Loyalty, saw a 17% profit increase and added nearly 5 million new members.

IAG did not pay a dividend in 2023, maintaining its stance from 2022.

The company remains optimistic, citing strong booking trends for the first half of 2024 and plans for further capacity growth, particularly on long-haul routes and in the Latin American market. While non-fuel unit costs are expected to rise slightly, IAG remains committed to shareholder value creation and cash returns.