$1.18B Loss for NWA in Q3

MINNEAPOLIS (AFX) - Northwest Airlines Corp. said bankruptcy expenses gave it a $1.18 billion third-quarter loss, but said it would have shown a profit without those and other one-time items.

Northwest's loss of $13.50 per share compared with a loss of $475 million, or $5.45 per share, during the same period last year, when it filed for bankruptcy protection.

Revenue rose almost 1 percent to $3.41 billion, up from $3.38 billion during the same period last year. Reorganization expenses totaled $1.43 billion in the quarter.

Northwest said it would have shown a $258 million operating profit for the quarter without reorganization items and income taxes, up from a $309 million loss during the same period last year.

The operating profit came despite a downturn in September, when Northwest said it lost $337 million including bankruptcy expenses, or a loss of $13 million not counting those expenses.

Northwest, the nation's fifth-largest airline, said it still expects a 'modest profit' for all of 2006 on $12 billion in revenue, not counting reorganization expenses. It predicted a loss once bankruptcy expenses are included. Northwest also said it would lose money -- even without bankruptcy expenses -- during the last four months of the year.

Northwest said it ended the quarter with $2.1 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments, but that included the proceeds of a new $1.225 billion debtor-in-possession loan that closed in August.

'Our third quarter results are a significant improvement over last year's results and demonstrate further that we are making steady progress in restructuring Northwest Airlines,' said President and Chief Executive Doug Steenland. 'However, our September loss indicates that we still have work to do in order to reach our goal of sustained profitability.'

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