BA losses widen, forecasts annual loss

LONDON: British Airways said Friday that net losses in the nine months to December nearly doubled to £245 million, hit by weak demand, adding it expected to be in the red for its full-year.

The net loss compared with a loss of £127 million in the same period of 2008, BA said in a results statement.

Group revenues sank 12.9 percent to £6.14 billion in the nine months period.

However, BA, which is attempting to merge with Iberia of Spain, also reported a smaller-than-expected pre-tax loss of £50 million in the three months to December after a sharp round of cost cutting.

Market expectations had been for a much larger pre-tax loss of £150 million for BA's third quarter.

"These results highlight the impact of permanent changes across the company on our costs," said BA Chief Executive Willie Walsh in the earnings release.

"While we are on the right track, we still expect to make record losses this year. Permanent structural change is being introduced in all areas and will return us to sustained profitability," he said.