UAL, Continental post quarterly profits

CHICAGO Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:46am EDT

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - UAL Corp and Continental Airlines, which merged this month to form the world's largest airline, earned third-quarter profits as the industry extends a rebound.

UAL, parent of the former United Airlines, posted a third-quarter net profit of $387 million, or $1.75 per share, compared with a loss of $57 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Continental posted a net profit of $354 million, or $2.16 per share, compared with a loss of $18 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago.

The two airlines combined to form a new United Airlines owned by United Continental Holdings (UAL.N) but continue to operate separately while they pursue a single operating certificate from the government.

UAL's operating revenue was $5.39 billion. Continental reported operating revenue of $3.95 billion.

United and Continental ended the third quarter with a combined $9.1 billion in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

(Reporting by Kyle Peterson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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