Profits surge 72 per cent at Hong Kong airline


Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s flagship airline Cathay Pacific Wednesday announced a record-breaking 71.8 per cent increase in net profits of 901.9 million US dollars for 2007. The profits surge, which compared to 525 million US dollars the year before, was driven by strong passenger demand, a weak US dollar and fuel hedging gains, chairman Christopher Pratt said.

Nearly 18 million passengers flew on Cathay Pacific routes in 2007, up 6.2 per cent on the figure for the previous year, while ticket revenue was up 17 per cent at 5 billion US dollars.

However Pratt warned that the airline – Asia’s third biggest after Air China and Singapore Airlines – expected intensified competition and negative impact from high fuel prices in the year ahead.

“Any substantial slowdown in world economic activity would pose risks to anticipated passenger and cargo volumes and revenue,” he said.

Uncertainty over the impact of fuel price rises saw Cathay Pacific share rise only around 6 per cent over 2007 compared to nearly 40 per cent for the Hang Seng Index in general.