ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill._United Airlines' parent company reported a $187 million net loss Wednesday for November, citing continuing reorganization charges and high fuel costs as its three-year bankruptcy overhaul draws to a finish.
The deficit more than doubled the $87.5 million net loss of a year earlier.
In signs its restructuring is starting to pay off, however, UAL Corp. said it had an $8.9 million operating profit and lower operating costs than a year earlier despite the spike in fuel prices.
UAL said costs for its mainline unit were down 1 percent - or 15 percent excluding fuel - while passenger revenue rose 15 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.42 billion a year earlier.
"These solid results are evidence of real progress in our work to make United competitive and resilient," CEO Glenn Tilton said in a statement discussing the company's separate regulatory filing.
Non-case reorganization expenses for the month totaled $159 million, consisting largely of aircraft-related transactions, and fuel cost the company $124 million more than a year earlier due to the 39 percent jump in prices since the previous November. UAL had an operating loss of $188 million for the same month in 2004.
The company has now reported net losses of $15.1 billion since last turning a profit in the second quarter of 2000, including $5.2 billion this year and $9.9 billion since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2002. But UAL said the recent net losses are misleading since they reflect claims that are expected to be settled for a fraction of the charges, meaning the company will be taking a multibillion-dollar gain when it leaves bankruptcy in February.
Chief Financial Officer Jake Brace noted that operating earnings for the first 11 months of 2005 were up by $450 million over a year ago despite a $1.3 billion increase in fuel costs.
The company said it increased its cash supply by $310 million during November to $3 billion, with $959 million of it restricted.
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The loss is a result of continuing high costs for its 33-month-old bankruptcy reorganization and the spike in fuel prices.
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