United 2Q profit falls 51 percent, revenue down too

United 2Q profit falls 51 percent, revenue down too

3 US airline by traffic, said revenue declined to $9.40 billion in the latest quarter from $9.91 billion a year earlier.

United Continental Holdings Inc. reported net income of $588 million in the second quarter, which includes the start of the all-important summer travel season.

The company said its bottom line totaled $0.86 billion, or $2.61 per share.

CEO Oscar Munoz said the company made significant progress this quarter, fueled by employees' passion and dedication for running a good airline.

But investors appeared to focus more on United's months-long decline in passenger unit revenue.

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In an attempt to shore up prices, United announced that it will trim its plans for growth later this year ever so slightly. Passenger revenue for each seat flown a mile, or unit revenue, will fall 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent in the current quarter, the Chicago-based carrier said. Even though fuel crept up this spring, it is still a relative bargain - United saved $669 million, or 32 percent, compared with last year's fuel bill.

Like Delta, United said it would sell fewer seats from the United Kingdom, with some routes becoming seasonal in 2017. United estimated a margin of 13.5 percent to 15.5 percent excluding special items, compared with 12.7 percent a year ago.

A steep drop in sterling against the USA dollar since Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union has made it more expensive for Britons to visit the United States, threatening bookings.

Adjusted earnings of $2.61 a share beat the $2.56 average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

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