british airways
Profit before tax from continuing operations soared to €828mGetty

British Airway owner IAG (International Airlines Group) saw its pre-tax profit for 2014 more than double as cheaper oil and better efficiency helped it to a strong year.

Profit before tax from continuing operations soared to €828m (£603.4m, $929.3m) – a rise of 127% on 2013.

IAG says that it spent 7.8% less on fuel in 2014 and chief executive officer Willie Walsh says that the entrance of more efficient aircrafts into its fleet helped buoy results.

"We achieved a strong unit cost performance, down 4.1%, through increased productivity, supplier cost savings and lower fuel unit costs. The latter was boosted by the introduction of more efficient aircraft into our fleet and lower fuel prices in the last quarter of the year," said Walsh.

"However, the positive effect of the oil price reduction has been partly offset by hedging and significant currency impact."

The positive results has encouraged the firm to raise its profit forecast for 2015 by a fifth to €2.2bn if current fuel prices remain low.

In January, IAG bid €1.36bn for Irish aviation company Aer Lingus, which the latter accepted.

However, BA gave no update on the potential transaction in its results but Walsh told the BBC: "We'll have discussions in due course with the Irish government.

"I'm very much focused on the fantastic results that we've announced today and looking forward to developing IAG with the existing airlines and with opportunities to expand with other airlines."