Continental Airlines has reported 2006 net income of $343 million ($3.30 diluted earnings per share), a substantial improvement over the 2005 net loss of $68 million.2006 net income includes a $92 million gain on the sale of a portion of the company’s investment in Copa Airlines and a net charge from other special items of $53 million. Excluding special items, Continental’s net income for the full year was $304 million ($2.95 diluted earnings per share), a substantial improvement over the 2005 net loss of $205 million excluding special items.
In spite of fuel price increases costing over $510 million year-over-year, 2006 net income improved on strong revenue growth, which was up 17.1 percent year-over-year, and continued cost reduction initiatives.
“Because of the hard work of my more than 44,000 co-workers, we were able to deliver solid results for the year,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We look forward to distributing $111 million in profit sharing on Valentine’s Day.”
Continental reported a fourth quarter 2006 net loss of $26 million ($0.29 diluted loss per share), including a special charge of $22 million related to lump-sum payments to retiring pilots. Excluding the special charge, Continental recorded a net loss of $4 million ($0.04 diluted loss per share).
Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $20 million ($42 million excluding special charges), the largest fourth quarter operating income since 2000. This was an improvement of $114 million ($115 million excluding special charges) over the same period of 2005.