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Record 2Q2010 profit at China Airlines; Dragonair averts strike action

Shares in China Airlines remained neutral yesterday, ahead of the release of the carrier’s financial results for the three months ended 30-Jun-2010 after market close yesterday. The carrier reported a record quarter profit, as the economic recovery spurred passenger and cargo demand.

China Airlines returns to profit in 1H2010

Net profit surged six-fold to USD116 million, with a 72% increase in revenues, with the results following profit gains among its competitors, including EVA Air, Korean Air and China Southern Airlines. In the six months ended 30-Jun-2010, the carrier returned to profitability at both the operating and net levels, with an operating profit of USD214 million (compared with a loss of USD54 million in the previous corresponding period) and a net profit of USD197 million (compared with a USD74 million loss in 1H2009). Profitability was boosted by a 56% jump in operating revenues to USD2.1 billion, outpacing a 36% jump in operating costs to USD1.7 billion. The result also boosted the carrier’s cash and cash equivalent level by 239% to USD336.1 million. 

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 23-Aug-2010

Cathay Pacific shares gain as Dragonair reaches accord with union

Shares in Cathay Pacific rose as much as 5.5% yesterday, the most in two weeks, as subsidiary, Dragonair, reached an agreement with flight attendants, who had threatened strike action. Shares in Cathay Pacific have gained 38% in 2010, according to Bloomberg, which added that the carrier’s share price is still below the average of 19 analyst target prices.  Cathay Pacific’s share price gain yesterday came despite a reduction in Hong Kong stocks yesterday.

Air New Zealand to benefit from Pacific Blue withdrawal: Moody's

Shares in Air New Zealand gained 1.5% yesterday. Moody’s Investor Services commented that Virgin Blue’s decision to withdraw from the New Zealand domestic market (operated by subsidiary, Pacific Blue) is good news for Air New Zealand, and Qantas to a lesser degree. Moody’s added that the withdrawal would ease the cut-throat competition in the market, which affected the respective carriers’ load factors, yields and hence profitability. 

Also in the North Asian market, shares in Asiana Airlines slumped 6.0%. On the other end of the spectrum, in the Indian market, shares in SpiceJet jumped 7.2% on a day of heavy trading for the LCC’s stock.