Source AP ©

US Airways' 3Q profit increases

Raised fares and reduced number of flights flown led to third quarter profit increase, US Airways Group Inc. said on Thursday.

Net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to $177 million (EUR124.4 million), or $1.87 per share, compared with a loss of $78 million, or a loss of 88 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Excluding special items, the company reported a profit of $185 million (EUR130 million), or $1.96 per share, compared with $101 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting earnings, on average, of $1.75 per share. Those forecasts typically exclude one-time costs.

Revenue for the quarter increased to $3.04 billion (EUR2.14 billion), up from $2.97 billion. Analysts predicted revenue of $3.06 billion (EUR2.15 billion).

Higher fares allowed US Airways to boost passenger revenue per available seat mile by 12.15 cents, or 5.6 percent. At the same time, capacity, or the number of flights flown, fell by more than 2 percent.

"Looking into the current quarter, demand remains robust and the yield environment also remains strong," Chairman and Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a statement. "Recent fuel price increases remain problematic, but so long as our industry continues its recent capacity restraint we are optimistic about prospects for 2008."

US Airways shares jumped 74 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $29.48 in premarket trading.

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