Northwest cargo revenue up in 2003

Northwest cargo revenue up in 2003

Northwest Airlines said cargo revenue for the fourth quarter declined by 10% to $208 million on a 4.2% drop in volume.

For the full year, Northwest cargo revenue increased 2.3% to $752 million.

The weaker results come against 2002 comparisons that included a surge in demand amid the shutdown of U.S. West Coast ports late in the year.

Overall, Northwest swung to a fourth-quarter profit, as the nation's fourth-largest airline posted net income of $370 million, compared to a loss of $488 million year earlier, including gains from special items.

Excluding items, Northwest's loss narrowed to $129 million from $178 million in the 2002 fourth quarter, which included items mostly related to early retirement of planes and the closure of a maintenance base and reservations center.

Revenue increased 2.9% to $2.41 billion from $2.34 billion. Passenger revenue increased $52 million but that was partially offset by the decline in cargo revenue.

For the year, Northwest reported net income of $248 million compared to a loss of $798 million in 2002. Revenue edged up 1.1% to $9.51 billion from $9.49 billion.