Air China 2004 net profit up 15-fold on best-ever operating performance


HONG KONG (XFNews) - Air China Ltd said its net profit rose fifteen-fold

last year to 2.386 bln yuan as the airline posted the best-ever performance

on all operating indicators.

Operating revenue rose 36 pct to 33.52 bln yuan, while operating income grew 96.4 pct to 4.49 bln yuan.

"The company had the best performance in its history as measure by all operating indicators," Air China said in a statement.

Earnings per share for 2004 stood at 0.36 yuan, up from 0.025 a year earlier, while operating income grew

The airline recorded total traffic turnover of 6.75 bln ton kilometers in 2004, up 29.8 pct from 2003. Overall capacity reached 10.68 bln ton kilometers, up 24.3 pct year-on-year.

Its load factor rose 2.7 percentage points to 63.2 pct, while the daily utilization of aircraft averaged 10.2 hours per day, an increase of 1.5 hours per day compared to 2003.

Passenger traffic grew 35.7 pct as the airline carried 24.5 mln passengers last year.

Its passenger capacity measured in available seat kilometers (ASK) increased 27.9 pct to 64.90 bln.

It said that revenue passenger-kilometers rose 39 pct to 46.64 bln.

The company said its performance improved "significantly" in the international and domestic markets. It also recorded improvements in the Hong Kong and Macau markets.

The passenger load factor for international and domestic flights reached a record level, exceeding 70 pct. In the Hong Kong and Macau markets, its passenger load factor grew 6.4 percentage points.

Meanwhile, cargo capacity increased by 20.2 pct to 4.84 bln ton kilometers and cargo traffic grew 17 pct to 2.58 bln ton kilometers, it said.

Looking ahead, Air China expects the Chinese economy to grow at a rapid pace and that demand for air traffic will increase rapidly over the next three years with an anticipated growth rate of 13-15 pct annually.

But added that it expects "international demand to grow faster than domestic, and demand for cargo traffic to grow faster than passenger traffic."

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