British Airways parent International Airlines Group has announced a profit rise of 5.6% after tax in its third quarter results.

The airlines group, which also includes Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL, reported an operating profit before exceptional items of €2.4 billion million in the nine months to September 30, up 26.9%.

Its post-tax profits stood at €1.57 billion, a 5.6% rise on the same period in 2016.

The results have led IAG to predict end of year profits, before exceptional items, of around €3 billion based on current fuel prices and exchange rates.

‘Exceptional items’ include €271 million the group has spent  on restructuring in 2017, with €180 million on Iberia’s Transformation Plan in the third quarter and €91 million on British Airways’ transformation initiatives.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We’re reporting another strong quarter with an operating profit up 20.7 per cent to €1,455 million before exceptional items.

“All our companies performed well. Passenger unit revenue was up 2.2 per cent at constant currency boosted by improvements in the Spanish and Latin American markets. Our commercial performance was good despite underlying disruption from severe weather and terrorism. IAG Cargo improved in the quarter due to stronger Asia Pacific demand compared to last year.

“We’re pleased to announce an interim dividend of 12.5 euro cents per share.”

Its results also revealed the €65 million cost of the power failure which left around 75,000 passengers stranded at Gatwick and Heathrow.

Its report noted a 2.7% rise in costs, saying: “The increase includes €65 million of additional compensation fees and baggage claims related to operational disruption at British Airways due to a power failure over the second May bank holiday weekend.”