United Continental incurs $325m Q4 net loss

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Dragged down by merger-related costs of its two main operating subsidiaries, United Continental Holdings (UAL) reported a $325 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company recorded a net profit of $160 million on turnover of $8.4 billion. However, $485 million of costs accrued by merging United Airlines and Continental Airlines, together with other special charges, dragged the figures into the red.

The fourth quarter results are the first post-merger figures; prior to that date UAL results only included figures for United Airlines.

UAL says that, on a pro forma basis, the fourth quarter figures were an improvement of $347 million on the same period a year previously.

UAL also reported a pro forma full-year 2010 net profit of $1.6 billion (excluding $765 million of special items). On a Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis, full-year net profit was $253 million. UAL plans to distribute $224 million in profit share to its employees on 14 February.