Cathay Pa­cific posts big­gest loss in 9 years

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SHANGHAI: Hong Kong’s Cathay Pa­cific Air­ways posted its big­gest an­nual loss in nine years, which was slim­mer than ex­pected as a re­bound in the cargo mar­ket helped off­set fuel hedg­ing losses and stiff com­pe­ti­tion for pas­sen­gers.

Cathay re­ported yes­ter­day a net loss of HK$1.26 bil­lion (RM626.4 mil­lion) for 2017, wider than the prior year’s loss of HK$575 mil­lion but smaller than an av­er­age loss es­ti­mate of HK$2.15 bil­lion drawn from 11 an­a­lysts polled by Thom­son Reuters.

It re­ported an at­trib­ut­able profit of HK$792 mil­lion in the sec­ond half, helped by an im­prov­ing cargo mar­ket and prof­its from sub­sidiaries and as­so­ciates such as Air China, which off­set its first half loss of HK$2.05 bil­lion.

Still, it was Cathay’s sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year of losses and its fourth since the air­line was founded in 1946. Rev­enue grew 4.9% to HK$97.28 bil­lion.

Stung by fierce com­pe­ti­tion from main­land Chi­nese and Mid­dle Eastern ri­vals that have ex­ac­er­bated its prob­lems with over­ca­pac­ity, Cathay last year launched a three-year turn­around pro­gramme that aims to make HK$4 bil­lion in sav­ings.

It has an­nounced job cuts and plans to boost pro­duc­tiv­ity in­clud­ing in­creas­ing the num­ber of econ­omy-class seats on Boe­ing 777 planes.

“We are con­fi­dent of a suc­cess­ful out­come from th­ese ef­forts,” Cathay’s chair­man John Slosar said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to the turn­around pro­gramme.

“We also look to ben­e­fit from a slow­ing of the de­cline in pas­sen­ger yields as global economic con­di­tions im­prove. The out­look for our cargo busi­ness is pos­i­tive and we will take best ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the grow­ing global cargo mar­ket.” – Reuters

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