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Air China loses 9.15 bln yuan in 2008, earns 981 mln in Q1
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15:09, April 17, 2009

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Air China Limited (Air China), a major airlines in the country, reported a profit loss of 9.15 billion yuan (about 1.34 billion U.S. dollars) in 2008.

But the company enjoyed a business recovering with a net profit of 981 million yuan in the first quarter this year.

Air China called 2008 the most challenging year since 1988 when it was founded.

Business suffered severely from market contraction and oil price turbulence brought about by global financial crisis, the company said in its annual business report.

Fuel-hedging contracts alone cost Air China 7.47 billion yuan. The company also lost 1.15 billion yuan due to unsuccessful investment in Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, its business partner.

The recoupment of 989 million yuan from hedging losses as well as lower fuel cost, however, led the airline company to see some silver lining in the first three months this year.

It would still be a tough year for Air China in 2009, according to the company, as prospect of market recovery remained uncertain.

The company predicted intensified competition in a market with over transport capacity. It would also see more hedging losses if global oil prices continue to fall.

All three major carriers in the country, including Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, bore huge losses in 2008, with combined losses reaching 27.9 billion yuan.

A total of 1,058 listed companies in domestic market had released their annual business reports for 2008 as of April 15. Among them, 91 percent, or 961 companies, posted gains totaling 704.2 billion yuan. The figure was down 10.4 percent from a year earlier.

Lenders and oil companies became the biggest contributor, taking up more than 60 percent of the total combined net profit.

Source: Xinhua

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