ATLANTA, USA, (DELTA News Hub) – Delta Air Lines today reported financial results for the September quarter and provided its outlook for the December quarter 2023. Highlights of the September quarter, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are on page five and incorporated here.
“Thanks to the outstanding work of our entire team, Delta delivered record September quarter revenue and a double-digit operating margin. Our operational reliability continues to strengthen, thanks to our people, and I’m pleased to recognize their outstanding efforts with over $1 billion accrued year-to-date towards profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.
“Delta continues to set itself apart as a trusted consumer brand delivering welcoming, caring and elevated service by the best people in the industry. Our differentiated position supports our expectations for full-year revenue growth of 20 percent over 2022, and pre-tax earnings of over $5 billion, a near doubling over prior year earnings.”
Revenue environment and outlook
“We generated record September quarter revenue, with total revenues 13 percent higher than the September quarter of 2022. With this performance, we expect to deliver a record September quarter unit revenue premium to the industry, reflecting the strength of Delta’s diverse revenue streams and continued brand momentum,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president. “Robust demand for travel on Delta is continuing into the December quarter where we expect total revenue growth of 9 percent to 12 percent compared to the December quarter 2022 with total unit revenue (TRASM) expected to decline 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent. Within this outlook, Domestic and Transatlantic trends are consistent with the September quarter on a year-over-year basis, while unit revenue trends in the Pacific and Latin America are expected to modestly decelerate given capacity growth related to China re-opening and investment in our LATAM JV.”
Cost performance and outlook
“For the December quarter, we expect non-fuel unit costs to be flat to 2 percent higher year-over-year as we realize the benefits of scale and efficiency while making investments in our people and operational reliability,” said Dan Janki, Delta’s chief financial officer. “Delivering operational excellence while driving efficiency remains a top priority.”
Balance sheet, cash and liquidity
“Our financial foundation is continuing to strengthen as we’ve reduced our leverage to 3x in the September quarter from 5x at the end of last year.” Janki said. “We have repaid $3.7 billion of debt year-to-date and we expect to repay over $4 billion for the year. In recognition of our improving balance sheet, we received a rating upgrade from S&P in August to BB+ with a positive outlook.”