Soaring Delta growth beats Street

Delta Air Lines reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit yesterday, aided by lower fuel costs and higher fares.

Delta, now the third-largest US airline behind the newly merged American Airlines and United Continental, said it expected margins to widen in the current period. Quarterly net income was $8.5bn, aided by an $8bn tax benefit, up from $7m a year earlier. Revenue rose six per cent to $9.08bn.