China Southern Airlines, the largest Asian airline by passenger numbers, posted a 4.82 billion yuan (HK$5.47 billion) loss for last year, worse than most analysts expected. The company did not declare a final dividend. Sales increased 1.63 per cent to 55.29 billion yuan from 54.4 billion yuan in 2007. However, the carrier plunged into a loss from a 1.84 billion yuan profit a year earlier after operating costs increased 16.64 per cent to 61.77 billion yuan. The result exceeded the mean estimate of a 2.3 billion yuan loss by Thomson Reuters.