Chinese airline giant China Southern Airlines on Friday reported strong growth in net profits over the first six months of the year due to strong domestic travel demand and the yuan\'s appreciation. Its net profits surged 32.71 percent year-on-year to 2.76 billion yuan (431.59 million U.S. dollars) in the first half while revenue jumped 22.3 percent to 42.41 billion yuan, the airline said in its half-year report. Earnings per share stood at 0.28 yuan, said the report. Due to upbeat domestic travel demand, the airline carried 38.44 million passengers during the period, up 6.1 percent from last year, while transporting 536,000 tonnes of cargos and mails, the report said. The overall load factor -- a measure of how much capacity is being utilized -- climbed 2.7 percentage points to 80.6 percent, it added. The airline\'s foreign exchange gains rose to 1.21 billion yuan boosted by a stronger yuan, it said. Meanwhile, fuel costs increased 34.5 percent year-on-year to 14.64 billion yuan over the past six months due to rising oil prices, it said. The report said that market conditions will continue to remain favorable for the airline industry in the second half as the country\'s economy was expected to keep expanding rapidly. The airline will further improve its air routes network and the transit service to accelerate its \"go-global\" pace.