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Spirit Airlines’ profit falls on Superstorm Sandy impact

@denschaal

Feb 19, 2013 4:33 am

Skift Take

Superstorm Sandy and growing pains impacted Spirit’s bottom line during the fourth quarter. However, whether you like the airline’s business model or not from a consumer perspective, it is proving to be successful.

— Dennis Schaal

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Spirit Airlines saw its net income dive 18.4% to $19.5 million as Superstorm Sandy took a $25 million bite out of revenue, the airline reported.

The bottom line was also impacted by fuel-cost and capacity increases.

Operating revenue for the quarter increased 19.8% to $328.3 million.

CEO Ben Baldanza said Spirit remains committed to its ancillary revenue strategy, which has the airline charging for everything from bags to overhead bin space.

“2012 was a very exciting year for Spirit,” Baldanza said. “We successfully grew our business, delivered strong financial results and remained committed to our low-cost, low-fare strategy. This low-cost, low-fare strategy helped us to achieve among the highest margins in the industry.”

Revenue per available seat mile in the fourth quarter fell 6.6% to 11.1 cents. The decrease was driven by the impact of the storm, and a 5.3% jump in average stage length, the airline said.

Net income for full-year 2012 increased 41.9% to nearly $108.5 million as operating revenue hit $1.3 billion, a 23.1% increase.

Operating expenses for the fourth quarter and full-year 2012 climbed 25.6% and 23.5%, respectively, driven by increased fuel costs and capacity increases.

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