Richard Branson. File picture: Eric Thayer

London - Privately-owned British airline Virgin Atlantic said its annual loss narrowed by 50 percent in 2013, putting it on track to return to profitability by the end of this year.

The airline, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, on Thursday reported a group pretax loss of 51 million pounds million) for the twelve months to end December last year, compared to the 102 million loss arising from the year earlier, a pro forma figure reflecting the firm's new reporting period.

“The group has made good progress in 2013 towards our target of a return to profitability by the end of this year,” Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said in a statement on Thursday. - Reuters