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China Eastern Airlines expects 50% profit plunge for Q1

Apr. 16, 2012 (China Knowledge) - China Eastern Airlines Co Ltd<600115><0670><CEA>, the country's third-largest carrier, expects its net profit for the first quarter of this year would plummet by more than 50% year on year due to slower growth in passenger traffic and rising jet fuel prices.

The airline did not disclose the profit forecast for the quarter, but the firm's net profit for the same quarter of 2011 reached RMB 1.01 billion or US$160.32 million with earnings per share standing at RMB 0.09.

Operation costs of the company soared in first quarter of this year due to rising jet fuel prices, said a person familiar with the matter, adding that the firm's earnings from foreign exchange plunged as two-way fluctuations of RMB exchange rates.

Last year, China Eastern Airlines' net profit attributable to shareholders declined by 9.18% year on year to RMB 4.89 billion, and its operating revenue totaled RMB 83.97 billion, up 12.03% from a year earlier.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the airline had RMB 112.22 billion in total assets, whereas it had RMB 100.81 billion at the end of 2010.

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