China Southern releases hefty profit forecast, Cathay Pacific traffic weak in Dec-2010

China Southern Airlines reported that its net profit increased 15-fold in 2010, citing strong growth in passenger and cargo demand. The airline reported a net profit of USD54 million in 2009, but has not given a specific 2010 figure.

The carrier also expects its performance to benefit from an appreciation in the yuan against the US dollar. Its annual report is due on 28-Mar-2010.

Shares in China Southern Airlines rose 0.4% yesterday. Other Chinese carriers were generally stronger, with Hainan Airlines up 2.5%, Shandong Airlines gaining 2.4%. Shares in China Eastern Airlines were down 1.5%.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific reported Dec-2010 passenger traffic rose 2.9% year-on-year, although passenger load factor fell 3.8ppts to 80.1%.

The carrier’s 2010 passenger traffic was up 9.1% year-on-year, handling 26.8 million passengers. Shares in Cathay Pacific rose 2.2% on Thursday.

Selected Asia Pacific airlines daily share price movements (% change): 12-Jan-2011