IAG Cargo recorded a 7.2% upturn in revenue in 2018, generating income of more than €1.1bn, despite declining volumes.

The parent company of British Airways, IAG does not report on the profitability of its cargo services, but it did note a 0.9% dip in volumes alongside a 3.9% increase in available capacity – against the market average growth in volumes of 3.5%.

Overall yield for the year, however, was up 8.1% at constant currency.

Chief executive Lynne Embleton said last year’s performance represented record revenue in a “challenging” market, despite the average pace of growth and record profits at other carriers.

“Growth in our Constant Climate and Critical products contributed to a notable year for the business and helped differentiate IAG Cargo’s customer offering,” she said.

“Revenue from Constant Climate increased 9%, and we invested in a new multi-million-euro GDP-certified centre in Madrid to help meet growing demand for pharmaceutical shipments, in particular to the South American market.”

The dip in volumes is in marked contrast to 2017, when volumes grew 8% to outpace the 4.8% increase in available capacity. Although it should be noted that sold tonnes over the course of 2018 increased, albeit marginally, at 0.2%.

One customer told The Loadstar the group’s pricing was no longer as high as it had once been and that “good deals” could be found through its smaller carriers, such Aer Lingus.

Looking ahead, Ms Embleton said this year “looks set to be a more challenging year, with airfreight capacity growth outpacing growth in demand”. She added: “Our focus on service, products and technology will allow us to continue developing our business as we seek to become the carrier of choice for customers worldwide.”

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