Delta Air Lines reported record quarterly revenues despite a $30 million hit from Hurricane Florence.
In a third quarter trading update the US carrier reported pre-tax income of $1.7 billion and net income of $1.3 billion for the three-month period to the end of September.
The carrier saw adjusted pre-tax income of $1.6 billion, adjusted net income of $1.2 billion and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.80.
Adjusted earnings per share were up 16% compared to the prior year quarter, driven by improved revenue, tax reform benefits and a 4% lower share count.
The carrier added its quarterly results reflect a $30 million negative impact from Hurricane Florence.
Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer, said: “Our solid 8% revenue growth, combined with flat non-fuel unit cost performance, helped offset 85% of the $655 million fuel cost increase in the quarter.
“These achievements are a testament to the strength of the Delta business model and the hard work of the Delta people, and I am pleased to recognise their performance with an additional $395 million toward 2018 profit sharing.
“Our commercial momentum and improved cost trajectory give us confidence that we are on a path to deliver continued top-line growth and expand margins as we move into 2019.”
Delta’s adjusted operating revenue of $11.8 billion for the quarter improved 8%, or $912 million versus the prior year.
This was a record for the company, driven by improvements across Delta’s business, including a nearly 20% increase in premium product ticket revenues and double-digit percentage increases in cargo, loyalty and maintenance, repair and overhaul revenue.
“We generated record revenues in the September quarter on strong demand across the business and a favorable yield environment.
“In the December quarter we expect total unit revenue growth of three to 5%, driving full year revenue growth to 8%, the high end of our guidance,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.
“The benefits of our brand, industry-leading network, and relentless focus on the customer are driving revenue growth, improving margins and accelerating the pace of our recapture of higher fuel costs.”
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