Cathay Pacific boosts profits in challenging environment

Cathay Pacific boosts profits in challenging environment

Cathay Pacific Group has announced an attributable profit of HK$2,620 million for 2013, compared to a profit of HK$862 million in the previous year.

Turnover for the year increased by 1.1 per cent to HK$100,484 million.

The improvement in the Group’s performance in 2013 was largely due to the strengthening of its passenger business and the positive impact of measures introduced in 2012 to protect the business from the high price of jet fuel.

The cargo business continued to be affected by strong competition and weak demand, though there was some seasonal improvement in the last quarter of 2013.

The business overall continued to be affected by the sustained high price of jet fuel.

The share of profits from non-airline subsidiaries and from associates decreased to HK$781 million from HK$1,126 million.

Cathay Pacific chairman Christopher Pratt said: “The operating environment remained challenging throughout 2013, for the Group and the aviation industry as a whole.

“It was encouraging to see an improvement in our overall performance, and the strength of the passenger business reflects our continuing investment in network development and providing superior service and world-beating products.

“The cargo business continues to be problematic.

“There is still no sign of any sustained improvement in the market and some changes in the business appear now to be structural rather than cyclical.

“We thus have reduced the size of our freighter fleet and at the same time increased its efficiency.”

Passenger revenue in 2013 increased by 2.4 per cent to HK$71,826 million.

Capacity decreased by 1.8 per cent due to the continuation of 2012’s reduction in long-haul frequencies and the accelerated retirement of Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft.

However, capacity began to increase towards the end of the year as frequencies were restored and new routes were introduced.

Pratt added: “We remain confident in Hong Kong’s future as an air cargo centre and believe that our reshaped freighter fleet and our new cargo terminal will allow us to compete successfully in the long term.

“The business outlook for 2014 looks to be improved when compared to 2013.

“We will continue to invest to make our business stronger while keeping our financial position strong. 

“As always, we remain committed to strengthening the world class aviation hub in our home, Hong Kong.”