WELLINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand posted a 24 percent decline in half-year profit on Thursday, hurt by a jump in fuel prices and as rival airlines expand rapidly into the market.
Net profit for the national carrier came in at NZ$256 million ($183.86 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, down from a half-year record of $NZ338 million in the same period last year.
It will pay an interim dividend of NZ$0.10 per share, in line with NZ$0.10 a year ago.
The company forecast full-year earnings between NZ$475 to NZ$525 million.
It has previously guided for a full-year pre-tax profit between NZ$400 million and NZ$600 million. ($1 = 1.3924 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Toby Chopra)