US Airways profit tops estimates as fuel costs fall

Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:24am EDT

(Reuters) - US Airways Group Inc LCC.N reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, aided by lower fuel costs.

Net income came to $287 million, or $1.40 a share, in the second quarter, compared with $306 million, or $1.54 a share, a year earlier. US Airways plans to merge with AMR Corp's (AAMRQ.PK) American Airlines this year to form the world's biggest airline.

The company took an income tax provision of $67 million in the latest period and also recorded one-time items of about $55 million tied to merger costs and debt retirement.

Adjusting for the items, profit was $1.58 a share, compared with $1.51 expected by analysts, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose about 3 percent to $3.9 billion as planes were fuller, but yields were lower. Operating expenses rose 1 percent, with fuel costs down 3.8 percent and salary expenses up 4 percent.

Shares of US Airways were up 1.5 percent to $18.33 in morning trading.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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