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Delta’s Profit Slips, Republic Profitable After Loss a Year Ago

April 25, 1985

Undated (AP) _ Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday its fiscal third-quarter profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, when earnings were bolstered by a one-time gain.

Is president, Stephen M. Wulf, was chief executive, succeeding Daniel F. May in that post. May continues as chairman.

In addition, Frontier Holdings Inc., the parent of Denver-based Frontier Airlines, said it lost $14.2 million in the first quarter against an $11 million loss a year earlier.

First-quarter revenue fell to $143 million from $163.8 million, said Frontier, which blamed its latest loss on lower yields - or average fares - caused by price discounting within the industry.

A group that includes Tulsa, Okla. businessman Joseph A. Frates and a coalition of Frontier’s labor groups currently is trying to secure enough financing to acquire the airline.

Delta, which is based in Atlanta and provides service to 97 cities in 34 cities and six foreign countries, said net income in the quarter ended March 31 fell to $41.2 million, or $1.03 a share, from $52.8 million, or $1.33 a share, a year ago.

The fiscal 1984 results included an after-tax gain of $37.6 million on the sale of aircraft. The 1985 results did not include any aircraft sales.

Delta’s income from operations rose to $65.1 million from $31.3 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $1.17 billion from $1.08 billion.

Robert Oppenlander, Delta’s chief financial officer, said the increase in operating income stemmed from 12 percent growth in passenger traffic and a moderate 51/2 percent gain in operating expenses.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, Delta’s net income rose 69 percent to $175.3 million, or $4.39 a share, from $103.9 million, or $2.61 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose to $3.41 billion from $3.12 billion.

The fiscal 1985 results included an after-tax gain of $49.7 million from the sale of aircraft, while the 1984 totals included a gain of $54.2 million from such sales.

Republic, based in Minneapolis, reported a profit of $5.3 million, or 12 cents a share, in its first quarter in contrast with a loss of $4.1 million a year ago.

The latest results included a $6 million gain on the sale of property, equipment and lease rights. The company has been restructuring its routes, increasing service from its hubs in Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Memphis.

Republic’s revenue slipped 3.6 percent to $380.9 million from $393.6 million a year ago, but its expenses tumbled 5.5 percent to $375.6 million from $397.7 million.

Its operating profit slipped to $18.0 million from $18.5 million a year ago.

Republic serves 100 cities in 34 states, Canada and the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, NWA Inc., the St. Paul-based parent of Northwest Airlines, said its first-quarter earnings fell to $798,000, or 4 cents a share, from $1 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same quarter of 1984.

Operating revenue rose to 6.5 percent to $577.2 million from $542.5 million.

Steven G. Rothmeier, president and chief executive, said in a statement that the airline posted a 16 percent increase in passenger traffic in the latest quarter.

But he said earnings were hurt by pricing moves to meet competition in several markets as well as introduction of lower fares ″that provide reduced ticket prices subject to advance purchase and other restrictive conditions.″