JetBlue posts strong revenue growth in Q4

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways today posted strong revenue increases in the fourth quarter and for all of 2011 compared to the same periods the previous year.

As yield per passenger mile rose 11.3% in the fourth quarter, net revenues jumped 22.1% year-over-year to $1.15 billion, the carrier reported. JetBlue also reported full-year revenues to $4.5 billion, a 19.2% increase compared to $3.78 billion in 2010.

JetBlue's profits diverged between the fourth quarter and the full-year results. Fourth quarter net income grew by 187%, rising from $8 million in 2010 to $23 million. But full-year earnings dropped 11.3% from $97 million in 2010 to $86 million.

Rising expenses, including a 49.2% spike in fuel and 32.1% jump for maintenance and repairs, lowered operating margins by 1.7 points to 7.1% for the full-year.

In the fourth quarter, operating margins rose 1.3 points to 7.3%, with fuel expenses 44% higher than the same period a year ago.

JetBlue ended 2011 with $90 million in free cash flow.