Spirit reports 4Q and full 2013 profits

Spirit Airlines has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of last year and for full 2013 calendar year.

The adjusted net income for the full year 2013 increased by 71.0% to $177.5 million compared with $103.8 million for the full year 2012. Meanwhile GAAP net income for 2013 was $176.9 million compared to $108.5 million for 2012.

For 2013, Spirit’s adjusted pre-tax margin was 17.1%, compared with 12.7% in 2012. Pre-tax margin on a GAAP basis for the full year 2013 was 17.1%, compared with 13.2% in 2012.

The adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13) increased 109.9% to $41.0 million compared with $19.5 million for 4Q12. GAAP net income for 4Q13 was $43.2 million compared with $19.6 million in 4Q12.

In 4Q13, Spirit achieved an adjusted pre-tax margin of 15.4%, an improvement of 5.7 percentage points over the same period in 2012. On a GAAP basis, pre-tax margin for the fourth quarter 2013 was 16.2%, up from 9.7% in 4Q12.

Spirit ended 2013 with $530.6 million in unrestricted cash.

“For the full year 2013, we delivered record profitability and return as demand for our low-cost, ultra-low fare model remained very high. These strong financial results reflect our vigilance on maintaining our cost discipline and low-fare strategy while executing on our growth plan and delivering high returns for our shareholders,” declared Ben Baldanza, Spirit's chief executive officer.

For 4Q13, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $420.0 million, an increase of 27.9% compared with 4Q12. The year-over-year increase was driven by continued strong demand and growth in capacity. The increase was also partly attributable to the negative revenue impact in 4Q12 related to Hurricane Sandy.

For the full year 2013, total operating revenue increased by 25.5% to $1,654.4 million compared with 2012’s figure and total RASM increased 2.8% to 11.94 cents.

Total operating expenses for 4Q13 increased 18.8% year-over-year to $351.9 million on a capacity increase of 24.3%.

Spirit reported 4Q13 cost per available seat mile excluding special items and fuel (Adjusted CASM ex-fuel) of 5.78 cents, a decrease of 2.5% compared with the same period in 2012.

In its Investor Update dated 15 January 2014, the company estimated that it would record $8 million of expense related to the repair and damage of the engine and aircraft associated with the engine failure experienced in October 2013. The company now believes it will receive insurance proceeds covering all related expenses in excess of a $750,000 deductible, which was expensed in the fourth quarter.

The total operating expense for 2013 was $1,372.1 million, up 19.9% year-over-year driven primarily by fuel and other expenses associated with increased flight volume. Adjusted CASM ex-fuel for the full year 2013 decreased 1.5% y-o-y to 5.91 cents.

In the fourth quarter 2013, Spirit took delivery of three new Airbus A320s, ending the year with 54 aircraft in its fleet.

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