Cathay Pacific scores record first half profit
Despite a drop in demand for air cargo services out of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways today announced a record first half profit attributable to shareholders of HK$2.58 billion ($331 million), up 54.7 percent against HK$1.66 billion posted for the same period in 2006.
The interim result, the first to include full figures from sister airline Dragonair, showed group turnover was up 27.9 percent to HK$34.63 billion ($4.4 billion) from HK$27.08 billion last year.
The group’s fuel expenditure for the first six months increased to HK$10.55 billion ($1.35 billion), which Cathay said passenger and cargo fuel surcharges helped to offset.
Cargo tonnage carried by Cathay Pacific rose 8.7 percent to 623,073 tons against a capacity increase of 15.7 percent. Cargo yield was down 8.3 percent to HK$1.55 ($2). The airline said air freight demand was affected by a number of factors ranging from extra capacity in the market to increased competition from marine transport.
“This is a strong result, with record figures posted despite the impact of the drop in cargo demand and the continued impact of high fuel prices,” said Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt. “The group is in good shape at the moment, and we are now seeing clear benefits resulting from the acquisition of Dragonair. We see the downturn in cargo as short term and remain confident in the future of Hong Kong's air freight industry.”