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By Anthony O. Goriainoff

International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A. said Friday that it swung to a consensus-beating operating profit for the third-quarter on better-than-expected performance due to strong passenger revenue, and that net debt is expected to rise by year-end.

The parent company of British Airways and Iberia said that this increase is linked to seasonal booking patterns as well as the capital expenditure associated with fourth-quarter aircraft deliveries.

IAG said that for the three months to Sept. 30 its operating profit was 1.21 billion euros ($1.21 billion) compared with an operating loss of EUR452 million euros for the year-prior period. Eight analysts polled by FactSet had an operating profit consensus of EUR1.03 billion.

Adjusted operating loss/profit–a metric that strips out exceptional and other one-off items–was EUR1.21 million compared with a loss of EUR485 million the year before and estimates of EUR1.19 billion, also taken from FactSet and based on two analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue for the quarter was EUR7.33 billion compared with EUR2.71 billion for the third quarter of 2021 and consensus of EUR6.89 billion, taken from FactSet and based on eight analysts’ forecasts.

The London and Madrid-listed airline group said it expects capacity in the first quarter of 2023 to be around 95% of that seen in 2019.

“All our airlines were significantly profitable and we are continuing to see strong passenger demand, while capacity and load factors recover,” IAG said.

Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at

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