Delta Airlines returns $748 million to shareholders

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DELTA Airlines has reported financial results for the June quarter 2017
Adjusted pre-tax income for the June 2017 quarter was $1.85 billion, a $172 million increase from the June 2016 quarter, primarily driven by higher revenue.
While Delta recorded a June quarter 2017 adjusted operating margin of 18.4 percent, the airline delivered these results despite a $125 million negative impact from the operational disruption following severe storms in Atlanta in early April.
Speaking, Delta’s chief executive officer, Ed Bastian declared: “The June quarter ranks among the best in Delta’s history as our people delivered top financial, operational, and customer satisfaction results and it is an honor to recognise that performance with an additional $338 million toward our 2017 profit sharing. While 2017 is a transition period for Delta, we are encouraged by the improvement in unit revenues, leading to increasing conviction in our ability to expand margins as we move through the back half of the year.”
While adjusted net debt at the end of the quarter was $8.4 billion, up $2.3 billion versus year-end 2016 as a result of Delta’s March quarter 2017 unsecured debt issuance, for the June quarter, the company returned $748 million to shareholders, comprised of $148 million of dividends and $600 million of share repurchases.
On its revenue environment, Delta’s record operating revenue of $10.8 billion for the June quarter was up $344 million versus prior year, despite a $115 million headwind from April‘s operational disruption.
Passenger revenue increased $261 million, including $100 million from Delta’s Branded Fares initiatives. Passenger unit revenues increased 2.5 per cent on 0.4 per cent higher capacity.
“The June quarter marked Delta’s return to unit revenue growth after two and a half years. This improvement resulted from a strengthening demand environment and our commercial initiatives to provide customers more choice, an innovative experience, and a broader global network,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president. “We expect this momentum to continue in the September quarter, with passenger unit revenue growth of 2.5 to 4.5 per cent as we focus on driving a sustainable revenue premium to the industry.”

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