Air Astana H1 pre-tax profit up 10.4%

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Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana has reported a 10.4% growth in its pre-tax profit to $36.9 million in the first half of 2011.

The airline's revenues grew by 18% to $346 million, while its passenger numbers increased by 18.7%, said Air Astana.

Calling the results "satisfactory", the airline's president Peter Foster said: "Whilst margin has been affected by fuel price rises of one third, all markets have continued to strengthen resulting in robust revenue growth."

In the six months, the airline took delivery of the first two of an order of six Embraer 190 aircraft, bringing its fleet size to 24.

Air Astana expressed caution on its full-year results, because of general inflationary pressure and increased fuel costs.