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High fuel prices drag carriers' profits down

(Xinhua)

08:11, April 28, 2012

Air China Ltd. and China Southern Airlines Co., the country's two largest air carriers, both announced Friday that their first quarter profits slumped due to high fuel costs, smaller foreign exchange gains and low investment returns.

Air China's net profits plunged 86% year-on-year to 239.1 million yuan ($37.94 million), despite a 7.7-percent increase in revenues to 22.89 billion yuan, according to the company's quarterly report filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

China Southern posted a 74-percent decline to 319 million yuan in net profits, although its revenues jumped 16% to 23.69 billion yuan during the first quarter, the carrier's quarterly report showed.

The two carriers said they are facing mounting pressures this year, as the slowing domestic economy may cool travel demand and rising fuel prices will add to operational costs.

China Eastern Airlines Corp., another leading carrier, said its net income will likely retreat more than 50 percent during the first quarter.

Air China's Shanghai-listed shares rose 1.28% to open at 6.33 yuan per share on Friday, while China Southern's shares edged down 0.6% to open at 4.87 yuan.

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