American Airlines welcomes bumper profits for 2018

American Airlines welcomes bumper profits for 2018

American Airlines had reported a full-year pre-tax profit of $1.9 billion for 2018, or $2.8 billion excluding net special items.

The US-based giant said it had made a full-year net profit of $1.4 billion, or $2.1 billion excluding net special items.

Fourth-quarter earnings stood at $0.69 per diluted share, or $1.04 per diluted share excluding net special items.

Full-year 2018 earnings were $3.03 per diluted share, or $4.55 per diluted share excluding net special items.

Shares in the company rose by six per cent on the NASDAQ following the release of the results.

“We thank our team for taking care of our customers during the busy holiday travel period.

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“Their efforts led to significant improvements in key operational metrics and great customer service.

“We also completed a number of important merger integration projects that will serve us well in the future,” American Airlines chairman Doug Parker said.

He added: “We enter 2019 with great momentum.

“We are intent upon running the most reliable operation in our post-merger history, pursuing high margin growth opportunities at our most profitable hubs, and executing on a number of valuable revenue and cost saving initiatives.

“We expect our total revenue per available seat mile to grow faster than our network competitors, and to deliver strong pre-tax earnings growth in 2019.

“At the midpoint of our guidance, 2019 diluted earnings per share excluding special items would increase approximately 40 percent versus 2018.”

American Airlines confirmed it accrued $175 million for the company’s profit-sharing program in 2018, including $40 million in the fourth quarter.

The carrier also returned $986 million to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2018.