Press: China aviation profits hit $610 mn

China’s civil aviation industry, including airlines and airports, racked up combined profits of 4.62 billion yuan ($610.3 million) in the first six months of 2007, the Shanghai Securities News said. It did not give a comparison with the same period of last year or specify whether the result was gross or net profits.

But the newspaper, citing official data, said the industry’s revenue grew 18.3 percent year-on-year to 121.83 billion yuan in the first half.

Profits of domestic airlines reached a combined 1.54 billion yuan in the period, while airports earned 2.11 billion yuan, the newspaper said. Other aviation-related businesses accounted for the rest, it added, without elaborating.

All of the country’s major airlines have shares listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, including China Southern Airlines , China Eastern Airlines and Air China .

According to Reuters news agency, Shanghai-based China Eastern expects to return to the black in the first half of this year, helped by strong business growth and recently introduced accounting rules, its chairman Li Fenghua told Reuters in late June.

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For the full year, the carrier, which is awaiting government approval to sell a stake to Singapore Airlines and its majority owner in a nearly $1 billion deal, is expected to book around 200 million yuan ($26 million) in net profit, after a 2006 net loss of 2.78 billion yuan, Li said in June.
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