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Cathay Pacific returns to black despite fuel costs

Cathay Pacific returns to black despite fuel costs

Cathay Pacific Group has reported a profit of HK$24 million for the first six months of 2013, compared with a restated loss of HK$929 million in the same period of 2012.

Earnings per share were HK0.6 cents compared to a restated loss per share of HK23.6 cents in the first half of 2012.

Turnover for the period fell by 0.6 per cent to HK$48,584 million.

In response, the directors have declared a first interim dividend of HK$0.06 per share for the six months ended June 30th 2013.

A statement explained the group continued to operate in a “challenging business environment” in the first half of 2013, though there was “improvement” in its passenger business.

Demand in the major air cargo markets remained weak.

“The persistently high price of jet fuel continued to have an adverse effect on business,” added a statement to markets.

In 2012, the group introduced measures designed to protect its business, in particular from the high price of jet fuel.

It changed schedules, reduced capacity and withdrew older, less fuel-efficient aircraft from service.

The fuel and aircraft maintenance components of our operating costs in the first half of 2013 were significantly lower and financial performance improved as a result.

In the first half of 2013, the group’s net fuel costs decreased by 8.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

Notwithstanding this reduction, fuel remains the group’s most significant cost, accounting for 38.8 per cent of total operating costs during the period.