26 May 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
A successful fuel hedging strategy at Virgin Atlantic has helped it to boost income.
The UK-based long-haul carrier almost doubled its pre-tax profit in the last financial year, having increased it from £68.4 million - up from £34.8 million the year before.
Chief executive Steve Ridgway said in an interview on BBC Breakfast the company hedged "very aggressively" on fuel and that the strategy - which commits an airline to paying a pre-determined price for future jet fuel purchases - had given certainty about fuel costs.
"We had good hedging in place for our fuel and our currency and that helped get us through that terrible first half of the year when fuel went up to $147 (£93) [a barrel]," he said.
The company said in a statement that the buying strategy was "prudent management" during the "most volatile trading conditions" in its 25-year history.
The results were for the year to the end of February.
Last week, British Airways unveiled preliminary results for the 12 months ending 31 March that showed a loss before tax of £401 million (Web news, 22 May 2009).