Cathay profits for 2011 fall 61%

Chairman warns that worst may be yet to come

Cathay Pacific Group has posted a sharp fall in profits for 2011, to $709 million – a decline of 60.8%. The Hong Kong-based group also took the opportunity of warning that the worst may be yet to come. Revenues increased by 9.9%, but the company was hit by a 44.1% increase in fuel costs. Passenger revenue was up 14.2% (accounting for 70% of the group’s total revenues). Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Dragonair carried 27.6 million passengers in 2011, an increase of 2.9%, but available seat capacity rose by 9.2%, causing cabin load factors to tumble 3 percentage points.
Christopher Pratt, chairman Cathay Pacific Group: “2012 is looking even more challenging than 2011 and we are therefore cautious about prospects for this year. Looking ahead, economic uncertainties have continued into the first half of this year. While these uncertainties continue, we expect pressure on economy class yields and our cargo business in particular to remain weak.”
However, Pratt added that the group will continue to take delivery of 19 new aircraft in 2012 and introduce its new premium economy class product and new long-haul economy class seats.
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