United Airlines Reports Second-Quarter 2017 Performance

 Wednesday, July 19, 2017

United AirlinesUnited Airlines (UAL) today announced its second-quarter 2017 financial results.



Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines, said, “The positive financial and operational performance this past quarter demonstrates that United is firmly on the right path. From investing in our products and our people, redoubling our focus on the customer experience, closing the margin gap with our peers and delivering strong returns to our investors, we have made important progress and moved United decisively forward. No single quarter constitutes a trend and we still have much further to go before we fully realize the potential of this airline and exceed the expectations of our customers. But, we also know that one success begets another and the strong financial and operating performance we posted this quarter adds to the momentum that all of us here at United are determined to build upon.”



Second-Quarter Revenue

For the second quarter of 2017, revenue was $10.0 billion, an increase of $604 million or 6.4 percent year-over-year. Second-quarter 2017 consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) was up 2.1 percent and consolidated yield increased 2.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2016. Cargo revenue was $254 million in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 22.1 percent year-over-year due primarily to higher volumes across the system.



Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines, said, “Second quarter performance was outstanding both financially and operationally. We are incredibly proud that the United team delivered the best operational performance among major competitors during one of our busiest quarters. This impressive quarterly performance was a strong finish to the first half of the year.”



Second-Quarter Costs

Operating expense was $8.6 billion in the second quarter, up 3.2 percent year-over-year. Excluding special charges, operating expense was $8.6 billion, an 8.3 percent increase year-over-year. Consolidated unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.0 percent compared to the second quarter of 2016 due largely to lower special charges in 2017, partially offset by higher labor and fuel expense. Second-quarter consolidated CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, increased 3.1 percent year-over-year, driven mainly by higher labor expense.



Liquidity and Capital Allocation

UAL generated $1.6 billion in operating cash flow and ended the quarter with $6.6 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $2.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. The company’s capital expenditures were $1.1 billion in the second quarter. Including assets acquired through the issuance of debt and airport construction financing and excluding fully reimbursable projects, the company invested $1.2 billion during the second quarter in adjusted capital expenditures. Free cash flow, measured as operating cash flow less adjusted capital expenditures, was $314 million for the second quarter. The company contributed $160 million to its pension plans and made debt and capital lease principal payments of $238 million in the second quarter. In the quarter, UAL purchased $0.4 billion of its common shares at an average price of $74.39 per share. As of June 30, 2017, the company had approximately $1.1 billion remaining to purchase shares under its existing share repurchase authority.



For the 12 months ended June 30, 2017, the company’s pre-tax income was $3.8 billion and return on invested capital (ROIC) was 17.0 percent.



Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Airlines, said, “We are delivering on our commitments to our shareholders. Our margin performance and growth in earnings per share in the quarter demonstrate we are moving in the right direction. We expect our pre-tax margin in the third quarter to be between 12.5 and 14.5 percent.”



Fleet Updates

In the second quarter, UAL took delivery of six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, one used Airbus A319 aircraft and ten Embraer E175 aircraft. UAL announced it will take delivery of four additional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in 2018. The 777-300ER aircraft feature the company’s all-new United Polaris business class, with custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seats and new amenity kits. In addition, the company purchased four Airbus A320 aircraft and three Boeing 757-200 aircraft that it currently operates off lease in the second quarter. With regards to future deliveries, UAL deferred four Airbus A350 aircraft out of 2018 and accelerated 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into 2019 and two 787-10 aircraft within 2019. The company also converted 100 of its current Boeing 737 MAX aircraft orders into Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft and expects to take delivery of the aircraft starting in late 2020.


Source:- United Airlines


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