HONG KONG – China Southern Airlines Ltd. has posted an 85 per cent drop in first-half profit as the global economy slowed, jet fuel prices rose and competition among Chinese carriers intensified.
The airline, China’s biggest by passenger numbers, said late Monday that profit fell to 424 million yuan ($67 million), or 0.04 yuan per share (0.6 US cents). That’s down steeply from 2.76 billion yuan or 0.28 yuan a share in 2011.
Profit was also hit by China’s weakening currency. The airline lost 314 million yuan as the currency fluctuated against the dollar. Last year, it reaped a 1.2 billion gain as the yuan strengthened.
China Southern said it expects tough conditions to persist for the second half of 2012, with the global economic recovery facing “various uncertainties” and continued intense competition.