Delta Air Lines have recorded a 70% profit increase in its financial results for the December 2014 quarter compared to the December 2013 quarter.

Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer noted that the Airline’s 2014 performance of an industry-leading operation, superior customer service, and a 70 percent increase in profits shows that Delta is focused on delivering growing value for its employees, customers and investors.


“As we begin 2015, we have a significant opportunity from lower fuel prices, which will drive more than $2 billion in fuel savings over 2014. Through our capacity discipline, pricing our product to demand, and the fuel savings, we expect to drive double-digit earnings growth, along with increased free cash flow and a higher return on invested capital in the upcoming year.” he said.

Delta’s operating revenue improved 6 percent in the December 2014 quarter compared to the December 2013 quarter. Traffic increased 4.0 percent on a 3.7 percent increase in capacity.

Its Passenger revenue increased 4.6 percent, or $361 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 0.8 percent year over year with a 0.6 percent improvement in yield.

Also, it recorded a Cargo revenue increase of 2.1 percent and this was driven by increases in both freight volumes and yields.

Delta’s president, Ed Bastian also averred that Delta delivered solid revenue performance in the December quarter, growing their top line by 6 percent against a backdrop of nearly 15 percent lower fuel prices.

“While we face headwinds from the stronger dollar and lower fuel prices going forward, we have confidence we can continue to generate top-line growth as we realize additional benefits from our Virgin Atlantic joint venture, restructure our Pacific network, gain additional corporate share, and ramp up our merchandising efforts with branded fares and enhanced customer segmentation.”

“We expect a net year-over-year fuel price benefit of $500 million in the March quarter and will work throughout 2015 to maximize the benefit of fuel savings to our bottom line,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “Our margin postings are manageable in light of our strong cash generation and balance sheet.”

However its non-operating expense, excluding special items, declined by $40 million as a result of lower interest expense, partially offset by a $13 million higher foreign exchange loss compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Tax expense, excluding special items, increased $383 million compared to the prior year quarter, as the company now recognizes tax expense for financial reporting purposes following the reversal of its tax valuation allowance at the end of 2013. Delta’s net operating loss carryforwards of more than $12 billion will largely offset cash taxes due on future earnings during the next several years.

The Airline ended the quarter with adjusted net debt of $7.3 billion, including cash that is being held by counterparties as hedge margin.



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