Delta Air Lines reported financial results for the September 2013 quarter, including a net profit for the September 2013 quarter of $1.2 billion, excluding special items. This result is a $444 million improvement year-over-year, Delta said. Including $157 million in special items, Delta's GAAP net income was $1.4 billion.
Other highlights reported by Delta include:
• The company began returning capital to shareholders, with $100 million in share repurchases and $51 million in dividend payments.
• September quarter results include $249 million of profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees' contributions to the company's financial performance.
• Delta generated $1.2 billion of operating cash flow and $627 million of free cash flow in the September 2013 quarter, and ended the period with adjusted net debt of $9.9 billion.
"Delta's outstanding financial results, operational performance and customer service this quarter reflect the hard work of 80,000 Delta employees worldwide," said Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer. "These results reflect the progress we've made over the last five years, and we have even more exciting opportunities ahead of us as we build a better airline for our customers, employees and investors."
Delta's operating revenue improved $567 million in the September 2013 quarter compared to the September 2012 quarter. Traffic increased 2.1 percent on a 2.6 percent increase in capacity.
• Passenger revenue increased 6.7 percent, or $581 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 4.0 percent year over year with a 4.5 percent improvement in yield.
• Cargo revenue decreased 6.1 percent, or $15 million, on declining freight yields.
• Other revenue was flat year over year as growth in Delta's third-party staffing business revenues offset a decline in third-party maintenance revenues.
"The momentum we have built by running an outstanding operation and investing in our product and people enabled a 7 percent revenue growth, with particularly strong performance in Atlanta, New York and London," said Ed Bastian, Delta's president. "The revenue environment appears solid through the end of the year, including strong holiday bookings, and we expect to continue to build on the revenue premium we deliver versus the industry."