HNA revenue set to soar as company reaches for the sky

Updated: 2013-05-01 07:44

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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HNA revenue set to soar as company reaches for the sky

China's fourth-largest airline, HNA Group Co, expects annual revenue to soar to more than $70 billion by 2020, its chairman said on Sunday.

The group, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in April, aims to fly into the top 100 on the Fortune Global 500 list, said Chen Feng, chairman of the group.

The annual revenue of the 100th-biggest company was $76 billion, according to Fortune magazine's list in 2012.

"Our long-term target is to make the top 50 on the list by 2030," Chen added.

HNA Group earned 120 billion yuan ($19.46 billion) in revenue in 2012, up 44 percent year-on-year, and its total assets reached 500 billion yuan in 2012.

The group's overseas assets continue growing, despite the bleak global outlook.

Overseas assets accounted for more than 21 percent of the group's total, contributed 10 percent to the group's annual revenue in 2012 and will soon account for about 40 percent of the group's revenue, said Tan Xiangdong, a director of HNA Group.

Acquisitions over the last two years have boosted assets.

In 2011, the group acquired GE SeaCo, the world's fifth-largest container-leasing enterprise, for $1.05 billion, its largest overseas deal.

It also purchased a 48 percent stake last year in Aigle Azur, the second-largest airline in France.

"Acquisitions boost our internationalization strategy," Chen said.

"The global financial crisis has presented opportunities," Chen said.

According to media reports, HNA was interested in purchasing a 35 percent stake in Cargolux Airlines International SA, one of Europe's largest all-cargo airlines, in 2012.

But HNA denied any plans for that acquisition.

An unnamed official from the group said the companies may have been in exploratory contact.

"Many foreign companies approach us for a deal, but we choose what companies we will buy," Chen said.

The target companies must be able to help improve HNA's competitiveness and expand its market share, he said.

In addition, the companies must be able to be integrated into HNA, not just in business terms but also in culture, he said.

Aigle Azur is a good example, as it helped HNA acquire a new Paris-Beijing route operated by the French airline.

"We expect to launch the Paris-Beijing route this year, as we are only waiting for approval to fly in Russian airspace," said Wang Yingming, president of Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, the aviation subsidiary of HNA Group.

The company also said the return of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft will help expand its global network.

The Dreamliner was back in the air on Sunday after a three-month grounding for battery problems.

"The aircraft will fly in China in two months," said Chen Wenli, a director of HNA Group.

The company ordered 10 Boeing 787 aircraft which new aircraft will work on its Beijing-Chicago route, due to be launched in September.

"The Seattle and Toronto routes also may use the Dreamliner," Chen Wenli said.

(China Daily 05/01/2013 page2)