US Airways reports lower fourth-quarter profit

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US Airways Group reported a lower fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as the carrier faced a nearly 30 percent jump in aircraft fuel costs.

The airline’s fourth-quarter net income amounted to $18 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with $28 million, or 17 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, it earned 13 per share.

Consolidated fuel prices shot up 38 percent during the quarter, the carrier said. If costs had been on par with 2010 levels, the airline’s fuel expenses in 2011 would have been $1.2 billion lower.

US Airways’ revenue was about $3.16 billion. The company ended the quarter with $2.31 billion in total cash and cash equivalents, of which $365 million was restricted.

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