Delta 4th-Quarter Profit Climbs 31%

From Times Wire Services

Delta Air Lines said Friday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose a stronger-than-expected 31%. It attributed the results to more passengers, lower costs and higher fares.

Profit from operations rose to $328 million, or $5.77 a share, from $251 million, or $4.49, for the year-ago quarter. The per-share results are after payment of preferred dividends.

The results for the period ended in June far exceed the average estimate of $3.95 a share by a number of analysts. However, Delta said it would not meet its cost-savings goal of 7.5 cents per seat-mile by the end of fiscal 1997.

The Atlanta-based airline will eventually reach that goal, but "we won't penalize our overall financial performance to do it," Ronald Allen, Delta chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement.

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