Spirit Airlines 1Q net income rises 30 pct

Spirit Airlines posts 30 pct increase in 1st-qtr net income on higher ticket and fee revenue

Associated Press

MIRAMAR, Fla. (AP) -- Spirit Airlines' first-quarter net income jumped 30 percent as tickets and fees propelled the carrier beyond Wall Street expectations.

The company earned $30.6 million, or 42 cents per share, up from $23.4 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012. Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of 45 cents per share, beating analyst projections by 3 cents.

Revenue rose 23 percent to $370.4 million, also a surprise to the upside.

Revenue for each seat flown one mile, a key industry metric, rose to 11.85 cents, an increase of 1.7 percent, thanks to improved operating profitability.

The Easter holiday, which was in March this year, rather than April, padded the results further.

Spirit charges more in fees than other airlines. Non-ticket revenue rose 25 percent to $151.5 million during the recent quarter, as the average amount paid by each passenger rose 5.9 percent to $54.75.

The company credited the increase to the introduction of advance purchase restrictions on bags as well as other changes in its pricing for optional services.

Passenger revenue, or revenue from ticket sales, increased 22 percent to $218.9 million.

Shares of Spirit Airlines Inc., based in Miramar, Fla., closed at $25.36 Monday, within reach of an all-time high of $26.87, reached on March 20.

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