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Delta Air Lines pre-tax income increased 4 percent

Staff Writer |
Delta Air Lines reported financial results for the December quarter and full year 2016.

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Adjusted pre-tax income for the December 2016 quarter was $923 million, a $524 million decrease from the December 2015 quarter, primarily driven by the new pilot agreement.

For the full year, adjusted pre-tax income increased 4 percent year over year to $6.1 billion.

Delta's operating revenue for the December quarter was down $44 million versus prior year. Passenger unit revenues declined 2.7 percent on a 0.9 percent increase in capacity.

Adjusted fuel expense declined $240 million compared to the same period in 2015, as 12 percent higher market prices were offset by prior year hedge losses. Delta's adjusted fuel price per gallon for the December quarter was $1.60.

Delta generated $1.2 billion of adjusted operating cash flow and $640 million of free cash flow during the quarter. The company used this strong cash generation to invest $600 million into the business for aircraft modifications, facilities upgrades and technology improvements.

For the December quarter, the company returned $449 million to shareholders, comprised of $149 million of dividends and $300 million of share repurchases. Delta returned $3.1 billion to its owners in 2016 through dividends and share repurchases.

Adjusted net debt at the end of the quarter stood at $6.1 billion, a $500 million reduction compared to the end of 2015.

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