China Eastern’s 2013 operating profit plunges

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China Eastern Airlines has reported a 64% fall in operating profit for the 2013 financial year to CNY1.58 billion ($254 million) following a rise in operating expenses.

Revenues increased by 3.5% to CNY88.2 billion, but failed to keep up with an 8% rise in operating expenses to CNY89.4 billion for the year ended 31 December 2013.

Net profit for the year came in at CNY2.37 billion, down 22.3% on the year prior. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year amounted to CNY2 billion, down from CNY2.51 billion at the end of 2012.

The Skyteam member carried 79 million passengers over the year, an increase of 8.23%, while passenger load factor declined marginally to 79.2%.

Over the year, China Eastern introduced 58 new aircraft into its fleet and retired nine others, leaving it with a group fleet of 478 aircraft. The latter figure is comprised of 451 passenger aircraft, 14 freighters and 13 business aircraft.

In its outlook for the year ahead, the airline says it will focus on improving service quality and optimising its network. It also plans to retire 44 aircraft and induct 73 new aircraft into its fleet over the year.