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Virgin Atlantic returns to profit

Virgin Atlantic made a pre-tax profit of £14.4 million ($21.7 million) last year its first positive result since 2011.

In 2013, it incurred a pre-tax loss of £51 million. The UK carrier attributes its improved performance in 2014 to "strategic changes in the business along with operational and cost efficiencies" including the "significant benefit from its joint-venture partnership with Delta Air Lines".

It adds that the result marks the conclusion of its "recovery period". It aims to become "more profitable than ever before by 2018".

Revenue came in at £2.9 billion, with the airline unit's revenue up 0.5% and operating costs "flat" year-on-year on a constant currency basis, says Virgin Atlantic.

Leisure arm Virgin Holidays made an underlying profit of £5.7 million, up £3 million on the year before, with revenue rising 1.1% "driven by a strong performance in its key North American market".

Cargo revenue was down 1.8%.

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