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Air China first-half profit falls 3.8 pct

01 Septembre 2017

Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines, one of China's largest private carriers, similarly blamed higher fuel costs for its 12 percent fall in first-half net profit.

Such factors have dampened the benefits of the renminbi's appreciation against the USA dollar this year.

Total operating expenses increased by 19 per cent to 57.9 billion yuan, no thanks to a bigger rise in flight operations expenses.

Air China on Wednesday reported a 3.8 percent fall in first-half profit, dragged down by higher fuel costs, slowing returns on worldwide routes and heavy losses from its stake in Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.

The airlines' Hong Kong-listed shares closed between 3.1 to 5.6 percent higher on Wednesday (30/08) after the yuan strengthened to breach the psychologically important 6.6 per dollar level for the first time since June 2016.

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Passenger yields fell two per cent, dragged down by a 7.5 per cent slump on global routes, even as revenue per kilometre grew 12.5 per cent.

"We believe that competitive pressure could continue to suppress passenger yield in the second half", said BOCOM International analyst Geoffrey Cheng in a note about China Southern's performance.

"Statistics show that on average as many as 25 per cent of the passengers on the China Southern service are from outside China, and are primarily New Zealanders, Europeans and Britons travelling the globe on Asia's largest airline".

China Southern said in its report that it was confronted with a variety of "adverse factors", such as "increasingly severe security situation at home and overseas, acceleration of high-speed railways and increasingly intensified market competition".

Air China first-half profit falls 3.8 pct