Air China posts 16.5% fall in Q3 2012 net profit

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Air China's net profit for the third quarter of 2012 declined by 16.5% to CNY3.17 billion ($508 million), down from CNY3.8 billion in the same period a year ago.

The Star Alliance carrier's total revenue for the three months to 30 September rose by 2.15% year-on-year to CNY28.8 billion, compared with CNY28.1 billion in the previous year. Operating profit declined by 17% to CNY4.49 billion.

Passenger capacity as measured in ASKs rose by 8%, while the airline's RPKs increased by 5.3% from the same period in 2011. The passenger load factor was 82.5%, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points compared with the same period in 2011.

The airline attributed its weaker results to a slower Chinese economy, high oil prices and heightened competition.

For the first nine months of the year, the airline's net profit decreased by 46.1% to CNY4.24 billion. Total revenue rose by 4.14% to CNY76.3 billion, compared with CNY73.3 billion in the previous year. Operating profit declined sharply by 47.7% to CNY5.61 billion.

Wang Changshun, chairman of Air China, says: "Facing a complicated and highly changeable operating environment, the group will actively initiate measures to address the market trends, consistently improve the customer experience and strengthen the business collaboration with its strategic partners to achieve its goal of sustainable development."