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BAA lowers losses despite ash-cloud and BA strikes

34 per cent improvement on 2009 pre-tax loss stats positive sign for airport operator

BAA, the operator of Heathrow and Stansted airports, has reported a reduction in losses in the first half of the year, despite being hit by a fall in passengers due to the impact of the volcanic ash cloud and crew strikes at British Airways.

The company has reported a pre-tax loss of £279.7m in the six months to 30 June - about a 34 per cent improvement over the same period last year. Its revenues rose 2.2 per cent to £958m.

While passenger numbers fell 4.5 per cent to 38.7 million flyers, their average spending at the airports rose 10 per cent to £5.20. This figure is reported to have been boosted by a £1bn annual capital investment programme at Heathrow.

The company also lost £36m due to the week-long closure of European airspace due to a massive ash-cloud from an Icelandic volcano in April.