THE SINGAPORE Airlines Group posted a 27 per cent fall in operating profits in its airline division to S$549m (pounds 196m) in the year to 31 March as the Asian economic crisis hit passenger numbers. Dr Cheong Choong Kong, chief executive, said: "It was a satisfactory performance, given the sound and fury." Group operating profits fell 14 per cent to $854m (pounds 305m). A spokesman said the results would have been worse but for an upturn in the airline's European and Australasian markets. The airline increased overall capacity by 7.7 per cent, against its annual growth target of 8-10 per cent.