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China Southern sees 2012 operating revenue up 8 percent
HONG KONG |
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines Co Ltd (1055.HK) sees an 8 percent rise in operating revenue this year on growing domestic demand, it said on Friday.
It also said it has no plans to cancel or delay its Airbus (EAD.PA) aircraft orders despite a global row over an EU carbon levy.
China Southern (600029.SS), the country's largest airline by fleet size, opposed the European Union's carbon scheme but that would not affect its Airbus aircraft orders, its chairman Si Xianmin told reporters at a results briefing.
"Decisions on plane orders are dictated by China Southern's development strategy and market demand so we will not cancel our orders," Si said.
China has suspended the purchase of a total 55 Airbus jets, including 45 long-haul A330s and 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos worth a total of $14 billion amid a row over a cap-and-trade scheme which could levy charges for carbon emissions for flights into and out of Europe, sources told Reuters.
However, the Chinese buyers for these A330 have not been identified.
The scheme has angered countries including China, India and the United States.
The Guangzhou-based carrier had nine A330s on order and all had been approved by the Chinese government, said Xu Jiebo, China Southern's chief financial officer.
"We will take 3 each in 2012, 2013 and 2014," he added.
China Southern was the first Chinese airline to take delivery of A380 planes last year and now operates three on domestic routes. It was committed to its plan of taking the outstanding two A380s in September and early next year, Xu said.
With its plan to take delivery of 57 new aircraft this year, China Southern's capital spending will rise by nearly half to 19 billion yuan ($3 billion) from about 13 billion yuan last year, the CFO said.
The airline forecast its operating income to rise to about 100 billion yuan this year from 92.7 billion yuan in 2011.
"The momentum of growth will be in China," Si said.
Backed by solid demand for air transport in China, the results of the country's three big airlines, including China Southern, Air China (0753.HK) (601111.SS) and China Eastern (0670.HK) (600116.SS), were better than many global peers last year.
China Southern reported a 12 percent fall in 2011 net profit to 5.1 billion yuan ($809 million) on Thursday.
Its shares ended up 3.34 percent on Friday, beating a 0.3 percent fall in the broader market .HSI.
For the results statement, please read here ($1 = 6.3060 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Rachel Li; Editing by Mark Potter)
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