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Pakistan International Airlines profit up 36 percent in six months

KARACHI (August 28 2003) : The Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) said the profit of the state-run national carrier rose by 36 percent in the six months ended June 30, 2003 after eliminating money-losing routes.

It increased earnings from the domestic and US/Canada traffic.

The net profit totalled to Rs 608 million ($10.5 million) in the six months ended June 30, 2003 from Rs 447 million in the same period last year, said the company in a statement to the Karachi Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The earnings from the US/Canada routes rose to Rs 7.093 billion up from Rs 6.422 billion while from the domestic traffic, the revenue surged to Rs 8.576 billion up from Rs 7.765 billion of the same period a year earlier.

The company said it ended some loss-making routes as well as Delhi and Mumbai routes, after India imposed a ban on Pakistani aircraft using its airspace in January, adding India lifted the ban in June.

A reciprocal prohibition on Indian aircraft using Pakistani airspace remains in force, it said.

It said the Pakistani and Indian officials are meeting in Islamabad on Thursday for two days to resume air links-another step to ease tension between the two South Asian nuclear capable countries.

The Airline has planned to replace its existing fleet of the aircraft over the next decade with an initial purchase of three Boeing 777s by 2003, it said, adding the need to overhaul its fleet to reduce costs and win back market share lost to rivals such as Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Indian Airlines and Emirates, the company said.

The company plans to sell as much as five percent shares in the Airline by next month through the Karachi Stock Exchange.

The company's share price fell by 15 paisa, or 0.7 percent to Rs 20.15 at the close of the Karachi Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The following is the company's first-half statement, rupees in million:

=================================================                    Jan-June     Jan-June    Change                        2003         2002       (%)  =================================================  Sales               23,417       21,202        10  Costs               20,597       19,431         6  Financial Charges    1,363        1,118        22  Profit before tax    1,527          553       176  Profit after tax       608          447        36  =================================================

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