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US Airways Reports Third Quarter Profit

Dépèche transmise le 27 octobre 2011 par Business Wire

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) today reported its third quarter 2011 financial results. The Company reported a net profit excluding special items for the third quarter 2011 of $95 million, or $0.51 per diluted share. This compares with the third quarter 2010 net profit excluding special items of $243 million, or $1.23 per diluted share. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net profit for the third quarter 2011 of $76 million, or $0.41 per diluted share. This compares with the third quarter 2010 net profit of $240 million, or $1.22 per diluted share.

“Looking forward, we see continued strong demand in the fourth quarter. Thanks to continued capacity discipline, aggressive cost control and focus on outstanding operating reliability, we believe US Airways is well positioned for 2012.”

See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for a reconciliation of GAAP financial information to non-GAAP financial information.

US Airways Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Parker stated, “We are pleased to report a third quarter 2011 profit, particularly given the 44 percent year-over-year increase in fuel price. Customer demand continues to be strong as evidenced by the highest third quarter revenue and total revenue per ASM in Company history. In addition, our employees have remained focused on controlling costs and continue to deliver outstanding results. Our third quarter mainline unit cost excluding fuel, special items and profit sharing was up only 1.7 percent, despite a 0.6 percent reduction in ASMs.

“Looking forward, we see continued strong demand in the fourth quarter. Thanks to continued capacity discipline, aggressive cost control and focus on outstanding operating reliability, we believe US Airways is well positioned for 2012.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

A robust demand environment and strong passenger yields led to improved revenue performance. Total revenues in the third quarter were a record $3.4 billion, up 8.1 percent versus the third quarter 2010 on a 1.2 percent decrease in total ASMs. Total revenue per available seat mile was a record 15.21 cents, up 9.4 percent versus the same period last year driven primarily by a 7.8 percent increase in passenger yields.

Total operating expenses in the third quarter were $3.3 billion, up 13.7 percent over the same period last year due primarily to a $356 million increase in consolidated fuel expense. Mainline CASM was 12.93 cents, up 14.1 percent on a 0.6 percent decrease in mainline ASMs. Excluding special items, fuel and profit sharing, mainline CASM was 8.06 cents, up 1.7 percent versus the same period last year.

Express CASM excluding special items and fuel was 14.63 cents, up 9.8 percent on a 4.6 percent decrease in ASMs. As discussed in prior quarters, this increase was largely driven by higher maintenance costs related to our PSA CRJ-200 fleet as these aircraft are now more than seven years old.

Liquidity

As of September 30, 2011, the Company had approximately $2.4 billion in total cash and cash equivalents, of which $384 million was restricted. This is the Company’s highest third quarter total cash balance since 2007.

Special Items

The Company recognized approximately $19 million of net special items in the third quarter. Operating special charges were $13 million, which were primarily related to legal costs incurred in connection with the Delta slot transaction and auction rate securities arbitration as well as severance costs. In addition, the Company incurred a $21 million non-cash tax charge in connection with the sale of our final investment in auction rate securities. These charges were offset in part by a $15 million special credit for an award received in an auction rate security investment arbitration.

Notable Accomplishments

  • Received U.S. Department of Transportation approval regarding the previously announced transfer of takeoff and landing rights between Delta and US Airways at New York's LaGuardia and Washington's Reagan National airports.
  • Completed an offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs) in the aggregate face amount of approximately $53 million. This offering was an issuance of Class C certificates under the Company’s Series 2010-1 series of EETCs issued in December 2010. The net proceeds from the offering were used for general corporate purposes.
  • Took delivery of three of its 12 A321 aircraft deliveries scheduled for 2011. The Company expects to take delivery of the remaining nine A321 aircraft in the fourth quarter 2011 and an additional 12 A320 family aircraft in 2012. These 24 aircraft will be used to replace legacy Boeing 737 aircraft. The new aircraft will feature more First Class seats than the aircraft being replaced and will be equipped with Gogo Inflight Internet.
  • Launched the domestic airline industry's first natural language Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which shortens call times and provides more self-service options for customers. In conjunction with this new technology, the airline will bring approximately 400 new jobs to its Phoenix, Reno, Nev. and Winston-Salem, N.C. reservations centers this year when it returns work to the United States currently handled outside of the country.
  • Unveiled a 56,000 square-foot ground support equipment (GSE) building in Philadelphia, which is soon to be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certified building at Philadelphia International Airport. The PHL GSE team of 90 maintains and repairs more than 2,000 pieces of equipment including baggage carts, catering trucks and electric tugs, enhancing system reliability and on-time performance.
  • For the second consecutive year, was named as one of the 50 best U.S. companies for Hispanic women by LATINA Style magazine. The magazine reviewed more than 800 corporations and included US Airways as the only airline among its top 50 companies.
  • As part of the Company’s commitment to supporting military service members and veterans, US Airways operated its 200th Honor Flight. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization which provides World War II veterans the opportunity - free of charge - to visit the memorial erected in their honor in Washington, D.C. The airline's other military initiatives include a partnership with the Fisher House Foundation that allows passengers to donate their Dividend Miles to provide travel to service members receiving treatment at a military hospital. In addition to many other year-round employee volunteer projects supporting veterans' programs, US Airways also sponsors Veteran’s Day celebrations in its hubs.
  • Recognized more than 100 sons and daughters of US Airways’ employees through the US Airways Education Foundation scholarship program. Each student was awarded a $2,500 scholarship to further their college education.
  • Announced a unique education program, the Field Trip FUNd, which awards $500 grants to Title I public schools in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. The US Airways Field Trip FUNd will absorb the ground transportation costs for educational field trips, providing the opportunity to enrich classroom studies.

Analyst Conference Call/Webcast Details

US Airways will conduct a live audio webcast of its earnings call today at 12:00 p.m. ET, which will be available to the public on a listen-only basis at www.usairways.com under the Company Info >>Investor Relations tab. An archive of the call/webcast will be available in the Investor Relations portion of the Web site through Nov. 27.

2011 Investor Guidance

The Company will provide its investor relations guidance on its Web site (www.usairways.com) immediately following its 12:00 p.m. ET conference call. The Company typically provides guidance related to cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding special items, fuel and profit sharing, fuel prices, other revenues and estimated interest expense/income on its investor relations update page on its web site. This update will also include the airline’s capacity, fleet plan and estimated capital spending for 2011.

About US Airways

US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more than 3,000 flights per day and serves 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The airline employs more than 32,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers its customers more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,185 airports in 185 countries. Together with its US Airways Express partners, the airline serves approximately 80 million passengers each year and operates hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix, and a focus city in Washington, D.C. at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. US Airways was the only airline included as one of the 50 best companies to work for in the U.S. by LATINA Style magazine’s 50 Report for 2010 and 2011. The airline also earned a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality index for the sixth year in a row. The Corporate Equality index is a leading indicator of companies’ attitudes and policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and customers. US Airways also ranked #1 among its competing hub-and-spoke network carriers for 2010 performance as rated by the Wichita State University/Purdue University Airline Quality Rating (AQR). For more company information visit usairways.com, follow on Twitter @USAirways or at Facebook.com/USAirways. (LCCF)

Forward Looking Statements

Certain of the statements contained or referred to herein are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "plan," "project," "could," "should," “would," "continue" and similar terms used in connection with statements regarding, among others, the outlook, expected fuel costs, revenue and pricing environment, and expected financial performance and liquidity position of the Company. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, the Company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, and other statements that are not historical facts. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the Company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results and financial position to differ materially from these statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the impact of significant operating losses in the future; downturns in economic conditions and their impact on passenger demand, booking practices and related revenues; increased costs of financing, a reduction in the availability of financing and fluctuations in interest rates; the impact of the price and availability of fuel and significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel; our high level of fixed obligations and our ability to fund general corporate requirements, obtain additional financing and respond to competitive developments; any failure to comply with the liquidity covenants contained in our financing arrangements; provisions in our credit card processing and other commercial agreements that may affect our liquidity; the impact of union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruptions; our inability to maintain labor costs at competitive levels; interruptions or disruptions in service at one or more of our hub airports or our focus city; our reliance on third-party regional operators or third-party service providers; our reliance on and costs, rights and functionality of third-party distribution channels, including those provided by global distribution systems, conventional travel agents and online travel agents; changes in government legislation and regulation; our reliance on automated systems and the impact of any failure or disruption of these systems; the impact of changes to our business model; competitive practices in the industry, including the impact of industry consolidation; the loss of key personnel or our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the impact of conflicts overseas or terrorist attacks, and the impact of ongoing security concerns; our ability to operate and grow our route network; the impact of environmental laws and regulations; costs of ongoing data security compliance requirements and the impact of any data security breach; the impact of any accident involving our aircraft or the aircraft of our regional operators; delays in scheduled aircraft deliveries or other loss of anticipated fleet capacity; the impact of weather conditions and seasonality of airline travel; the impact of possible future increases in insurance costs or reductions in available insurance coverage; the impact of global events that affect travel behavior, such as an outbreak of a contagious disease; the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; our ability to use NOLs and certain other tax attributes; and other risks and uncertainties listed from time to time in our reports to and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). There may be other factors not identified above of which the Company is not currently aware that may affect matters discussed in the forward-looking statements, and may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or supplement any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such estimates other than as required by law. Additional factors that may affect the future results of the Company are set forth in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Company's Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 and in the Company's other filings with the SEC, which are available at www.usairways.com.

               
 
 

US Airways Group, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In millions, except share and per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
 

3 Months Ended
September 30,

Percent

9 Months Ended
September 30,

Percent
2011 2010 Change   2011 2010 Change  
 
Operating revenues:
Mainline passenger $ 2,267 $ 2,066 9.7 $ 6,447 $ 5,800 11.1
Express passenger 796 746 6.6 2,316 2,114 9.5
Cargo 40 37 8.0 126 107 18.4
Other   333     330   1.0   1,011     980   3.2
Total operating revenues 3,436 3,179 8.1 9,900 9,001 10.0
 
Operating expenses:
Aircraft fuel and related taxes 905 625 44.9 2,587 1,775 45.7
Salaries and related costs 577 579 (0.3 ) 1,726 1,708 1.1
Express expenses:
Fuel 273 197 38.4 803 562 42.8
Other 521 497 4.8 1,573 1,465 7.4
Aircraft rent 160 168 (4.9 ) 486 508 (4.2 )
Aircraft maintenance 163 160 2.3 508 479 6.1
Other rent and landing fees 144 143 0.5 418 413 1.2
Selling expenses 123 118 4.1 343 320 7.4
Special items, net 13 3 nm 22 (1 ) nm
Depreciation and amortization 58 65 (10.1 ) 178 189 (6.0 )
Other   319     309   3.0   938     907   3.2
Total operating expenses   3,256     2,864   13.7   9,582     8,325   15.1
 
Operating income 180 315 (42.8 ) 318 676 (52.9 )
 
Nonoperating income (expense):
Interest income 1 2 (52.9 ) 4 11 (65.6 )
Interest expense, net (85 ) (83 ) 0.9 (241 ) (252 ) (4.4 )
Other, net   1     7   (91.9 )   (7 )   41   nm
Total nonoperating expense, net   (83 )   (74 ) 11.6   (244 )   (200 ) 21.5
 
Income before income taxes 97 241 (59.6 ) 74 476 (84.3 )
 
Income tax provision   21     1   nm   21     1   nm
 
Net income $ 76   $ 240   (68.3 ) $ 53   $ 475   (88.7 )
 
 
Earnings per common share
Basic $ 0.47   $ 1.49   $ 0.33   $ 2.94  
Diluted $ 0.41   $ 1.22   $ 0.33   $ 2.45  
 
Shares used for computation (in thousands):
Basic   162,090     161,464     161,999     161,290  
Diluted   201,278     204,535     163,916     200,775  
               
 
US Airways Group, Inc.
Operating Statistics
 
 

3 Months Ended
September 30,

9 Months Ended

September 30,

2011 2010 Change 2011 2010 Change
 
Mainline
Revenue passenger miles (millions) 16,471 16,159 1.9 % 46,301 44,742 3.5 %
Available seat miles (ASM) (millions) 19,033 19,143 (0.6 ) % 55,184 54,162 1.9 %
Passenger load factor (percent) 86.5 84.4 2.1 pts 83.9 82.6 1.3 pts
Yield (cents) 13.76 12.79 7.6 % 13.92 12.96 7.4 %
Passenger revenue per ASM (cents) 11.91 10.79 10.4 % 11.68 10.71 9.1 %
 
Passenger enplanements (thousands) 13,520 13,487 0.2 % 39,823 38,853 2.5 %
Departures (thousands) 112 115 (2.4 ) % 340 337 0.9 %
Aircraft at end of period 339 339 - % 339 339 -

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