Cathay Pacific Group has reported an attributable profit of HK$3,150 million for 2014, compared to a profit of HK$2,620 million in 2013.
Earnings per share were HK80.1 cents compared to HK66.6 cents in 2013, while turnover for the year increased by 5.5 per cent to HK$105,991 million.
In the first half of 2014 the group’s business was affected by high fuel prices, reduced passenger yield and continued weakness and over-capacity in the air cargo market.
Business was better in the second half of the year.
For the full year, passenger demand was reasonably firm, with high demand during the peak summer and Christmas periods.
After a prolonged period of weakness, cargo demand started to improve in the summer of 2014 and was strong in the fourth quarter, which is the peak period for cargo.
The group’s business benefited from lower fuel prices in the fourth quarter, but this was partially offset by fuel hedging losses.
Passenger revenue for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair in 2014 increased by 5.4 per cent to HK$75,734 million compared to the previous year.
Capacity increased by 5.9 per cent as a result of the introduction of new routes (to Doha, Manchester and Newark) and increased frequencies on some existing routes.
Passenger demand was strong in all classes of travel on long-haul routes.
However, the increase in passenger numbers did not match the increase in capacity on North American routes.
Strong competition put downward pressure on yield on regional routes.
The group continues to invest heavily in its fleet, taking delivery of 16 new aircraft in 2014: nine Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, five Airbus A330-300 aircraft and (for Dragonair) two Airbus A321-200 aircraft.
Six Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft were retired during the period.
In 2013, it agreed to sell its six Boeing 747-400F freighters back to Boeing.
One of them was delivered in November 2014.
Two of the remaining freighters are parked and all five of them will have left the fleet by the end of 2016.
As of December 2014 the group had 79 new aircraft on order for delivery up to 2024.
A total of nine new aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2015.