Press: Lower oil prices to lift Cathay profits

Cathay Pacific Airways is expected Wednesday to post a net profit for last year of HK$3.62 billion, up 9.79 percent, due to lower oil prices and benefits from the Dragonair merger.The forecast is the average of 20 analysts polled by Thomson Financial, reported in Hong Kong’s Standard newspaper.

Merrill Lynch expects the two factors to boost second-half earnings by 5 percent. Net profit in the first was HK$1.67 billion.

Traffic revenue is expected to be 7.2 percent higher than the first-half passenger total of 8.14 million. But analysts expect passenger yield will be limited as capacity expansion slowed.

Credit Suisse has said passenger and cargo demand, fuel outlook and merger benefits will drive earnings.