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Decline in cargo demand hits net at freight firm

SINOTRANS Air Transportation Development Co Ltd reported a 1.6 percent drop in net income in 2008 due to a decline in cargo demand amid the global economic downturn.

Its profit fell to 628 million yuan (US$92 million) last year, or 0.69 yuan a share, from 638 million yuan in 2007, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday. The firm's revenue rose 15.2 percent to 3.29 billion yuan.

"The company experienced snowstorms, earthquake and rising fuel prices last year, which hurt its performance," the statement said.

"The international cargo demand and transport fees declined significantly in the period, which reduced the company's gross profit margin by 11.4 percentage points to 3 percent," said Tao Wei, an analyst with China International Capital Co Ltd.

But its freight forwarding revenue rose 30.9 percent to 2.65 billion yuan last year. Tao warned the firm's freight forwarding business won't grow rapidly this year.


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