United 2Q profit falls 51 per cent, revenue down too

DALLAS – Profit at United Airlines was down by half in the second quarter, and the carrier says that the slump in average fares will last through the summer.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $588 million in the April-June period, down from $1.19 billion a year earlier. Excluding one-time items like write-downs, profit was $2.61 per share, 5 cents better than analysts expected.

But revenue fell 5.2 per cent, and the airline forecast that revenue per mile will drop again in the third quarter.

United and other airlines are slowing their growth to limit the supply of seats and reverse a decline in average fares that started early last year.

Meanwhile, Chicago-based United says that it plans to spend up to $2 billion to buy back more of its own shares.