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Economy brings loss to China Southern Airlines

CHINA Southern Airlines reported losses for last year and blamed them on the slowing economy that dampened demand and surging fuel prices that increased costs.

China Southern, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, lost 4.82 billion yuan last year, or 0.74 yuan a share, after two years of profits, it said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday.

Its revenue advanced 1.17 percent to 56.43 billion yuan in the period, according to domestic accounting methods.

The Guangzhou-based carrier attributed the loss to the economic recession, surging fuel prices and natural disasters but expected a better performance this year led by the country's warming economy.

"With an expected GDP growth of not less than 8 percent, an increase in the domestic market demand is expected," said Si Xianmin, chairman of the carrier.

Si said the carrier will consistently implement the strategy of the "dual hub of Guangzhou and Beijing" and improve the hub's network, sales and marketing and service.

Fuel costs totaled 23 billion yuan last year, accounting for 42.9 percent of the business costs for the carrier and rose 26 percent from a year earlier.

The carrier flew 58.24 million passengers, a 2.3 percent rise from a year earlier, and 834,700 tons of cargo, down 4.2 percent.


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