January 4, 2011 / 3:25 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-China Eastern sees 2010 profit on brisk traffic

* Sees 2010 net profit around 10 times more than 2009

* Implies profit of around $817mln vs $81.7 mln in 2009

* Air traffic, Shanghai Airlines acquisition, Expo help

* Shares outperform broad market

(Adds details)

HONG KONG, Jan 4 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines (0670.HK) (600115.SS) (CEA.N), the country’s third-most valuable airline, expects its 2010 net profit to be around 10 times that of 2009 due to brisk air travel in China, it said on Tuesday.

“The air transportation market has been recovering rapidly and continued to grow in 2010. In particular, the air transportation market of the People’s Republic of China has continued to grow rapidly,” the airline said in a statement.

China Eastern also attributed the profit surge to its acquisition of smaller rival Shanghai Airlines and the World Expo in Shanghai, which boosted air passenger travel, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

“The net profit attributable to the equity holders of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited for 2010 is expected to be around 10 times compared with ... 2009,” it said in a statement.

    For 2009 the airline reported net profit of 540 million yuan ($81.73 million).

    China’s air traffic has been a bright spot in the global airline industry, benefitting domestic airlines such as Air China (601111.SS)(0753.HK), and which foreign aircraft makers like Airbus EAD.PA and Bombardier Inc BBDB.TO hope to tap.

    China Eastern's comments came after Hong Kong and China markets closed on Tuesday. The airline's Hong Kong-listed stock ended 3 percent higher, outperforming the Hang Seng index's .HSI 1 percent rise.

    Its Shanghai shares were up 3.3 percent, surpassing the Shanghai composite index's .SSEC 1.6 percent rise.

    ($1=6.607 Yuan)

    Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; editing by David Hulmes

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