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China Southern first-quarter profit jumps 64 percent

(Repeats earlier story, no change to text)

SHANGHAI, April 27 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines' net profit rose 64.1 percent in the first three months of 2018, as it benefited from strong travel demand and a stronger yuan.

China's largest carrier by passenger numbers on Friday posted profit attributable to shareholders of 2.54 billion yuan ($400.86 million) for January to March, up from 1.55 billion yuan during the same period last year.

China Southern Airlines set a record with a 17 percent rise in profit for 2017 on robust travel demand and strengthening yuan.

Its results mirror those of Air China and China Eastern Airlines , which on Thursday reported higher profits, owing to a stronger yuan and better passenger volumes.

The yuan has gained 3.7 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year, helping the airlines cut their finance costs. They had taken on considering dollar-denominated debt to finance their aircraft purchases.

Analysts say that this has helped them mitigate the impact of rising oil prices. BOCOM International analyst Geoffrey Cheng said the jet fuel price in Singapore over the first three months of the year rose 22 percent year-on-year and 8.3 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Hong Kong shares in China Southern closed 1.89 percent higher on Friday, tracking similar gains in Air China and China Eastern Airlines. China Eastern's shares rose by as much as four percent to a five-week high after its results.

Also on Friday, Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines Co Ltd posted a 27.1 percent year-on-year rise in first-quarter net profit.

($1 = 6.3363 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Brenda Goh, editing by Himani Sarkar and Larry King)