2012 was a good year for Delta Air Lines who capped the year with a fourth quarter profit, strong financial results, gains in operational performance, and improvements in customer satisfaction, said Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer.
"We enter 2013 as a stronger airline, with initiatives in place to build on our 2012 success. In the year ahead, we will advance our position around the world and continue to build a better airline for our shareholders, customers and employees," Anderson said.
Delta's net income for the December 2012 quarter was $238 million, excluding special items. Results include the $100 million negative impact of Superstorm Sandy on airline and refinery operations, Delta said.
Delta's operating revenue grew $203 million, or 2 percent, in the December 2012 quarter compared to the December 2011 quarter, despite a $75 million revenue decline associated with Superstorm Sandy. Load factor increased to 83.3 percent, with traffic up 0.7 percent on a 1.3 percent decrease in capacity.
"Our investments in Delta's network, products and operations, combined with our capacity discipline, have produced unit revenue growth that has outpaced the industry for 21 consecutive months," said Ed Bastian, Delta's president. As a result, we project a 4 – 6 percent year over year increase in March liquidity, including $3.4 billion in cash and short-term investments and $1.8 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities. The company ended 2012 with adjusted net debt of $11.7 billion and Delta has now achieved more than $5 billion of its $7 billion debt reduction target since 2009."
"Delta's results this quarter are remarkable in light of the $100 million negative impact Superstorm Sandy had on our airline and refinery operations," said Paul Jacobson, Delta's chief financial officer. "We have generated $4 billion in free cash flow over the past three years, and we expect to build on that momentum in 2013 with the additional benefits of further debt reduction and $1 billion of structural cost initiatives."
Delta noted that it reaching an agreement to strengthen its network position through an alliance and investment in Virgin Atlantic which will give Delta increased presence at London-Heathrow.