|For Immediate Release||24 August 2000|
Hong Kong, 24 August 2000 - Leading aircraft services provider The China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (the "Group") announced an attributable profit to shareholders of RMB 203.67 million for the first six month ended 30 June 2000, up from RMB 96.97 million for the corresponding period a year ago.
Continued economic recovery in the Asian region as well as a healthy growth in the global economy helped boost flight demands in the first half. Turnover increased 13.32 per cent to RMB 5,343 million compared with a year ago. Traffic volume grew 20.96 per cent to 981 million tonne-kilometers. Earnings per share was RMB 4.2 cents. No dividend is recommended.
Chairman Mr. Li Zhongming attributed the good performance to the Group's strong flexibility to adapt to market environment. "The Group actively developed business cooperation opportunities with foreign and domestic airlines to build up a stable passenger base," said Mr. Li.
Average aircraft daily utilisation increased by 0.6 hour to 8.0 hours compared with the same period in the previous year. Passenger traffic grew 8.98 per cent to 6,660 million-passenger kilometres, boosting passenger revenues by 10.74 per cent to RMB 4,161 million. This accounted for 77.88 per cent of the total revenue of the Group.
A breakdown of passenger traffic shows that international passenger traffic for the period under review recorded the highest increase of 12.33 per cent. Domestic routes and Hong Kong routes increased by 6.87 per cent and 5.13 per cent respectively.
International passenger traffic volume amounted to 2,951 million passenger-kilometers in the first half. Revenue from international traffic was RMB 1,317 million, up 13.18 per cent. This accounts for 31.66 per cent of total passenger revenue.
Domestic passenger traffic reached 2,786 million passenger-kilometres. Revenue generated by domestic traffic reached RMB 1,937 million, an increase of 3.59 per cent. This accounted for 46.55 per cent of total passenger revenue.
Passenger traffic volume for Hong Kong routes reached 922 million passenger-kilometres. This generated revenue of RMB 906 million, or 21.79 per cent of total passenger revenue, up 7.32 per cent.
The Group's cargo operations recorded an exceptional growth of 44.04 per cent over the same period last year hitting 399 million tonne-kilometers. Cargo transportation revenue amounted to RMB 989 million, up 31.17 per cent from a year ago. Cargo operations accounted for 18.51 per cent of total revenue.
"In response to the strong development prospects in the cargo market, the Group has increased its investments in its cargo carrying capacity, putting into operation three MD11 cargo aircraft and opening new cargo routes to Japan and Los Angeles from Shanghai. The Group also plans to increase the flight frequency to Chicago and Paris in an effort to develop major cargo markets outside Shanghai," said Mr. Li.
Operating cost was RMB 4,824 million, up 12.59 per cent compared with the same period a year ago because of the continuing increase in the price of aviation fuel internationally since April 1999. The addition of four Airbus A320 and the leaseback of three MD82 aircraft in 1999 also increased operating lease expenses. Moreover, the opening of Shanghai Pudong's new airport caused an increase in operating expenses, including depreciation on terrestrial fixed assets.
However, in a bid to lower its operating cost, the Group has beefed up measures such as building up its investment planning management computer system, strengthening foreign exchange debt management and establishing a procurement system.
The Group also gained approximately RMB 30.86 million from foreign exchange, benefiting from the depreciation of the Japanese yen.
Looking at the outlook for the second half of 2000, Mr Li Zhongming said, "The Group believes that it will benefit from the consolidation of the civil air carriers and the stabilization of ticket prices for domestic routes regulated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange in February 1997, and on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in November 1997, China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is one of the three largest air carriers in China and the primary air carrier serving Shanghai, China's eastern gateway. As of 30 June 2000, the Group operated 184 routes, of which 156 were domestic routes (including 13 routes to Hong Kong) and 28 international routes. It operated 1,700 scheduled flights per week, covering 67 domestic and international cities. The Group has a fleet of 68 aircraft, including 52 passenger jet aircraft over 100 seats each and two jet freighters.
|Issued by:||China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited|
|Through:||Forrest International Limited|
|Contact:||Sauw Yim (Tel: 2501 7938)|
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