HONG KONG: Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific announced a first-half net profit of HK$347 million ($44.77 million) on Wednesday, helped by increasing passenger revenue and strong demand for long-haul flights.
The blue-chip Asian airline's net profit for the first six months of 2014 ending June 30 represented an increase of 1,345.8 percent compared to the same period last year, when it stood at HK$24 million.
Profit for the airline is on an upward trend after its net profit swung up 103 percent in the same period last year, following a net loss of HK$935 million in the first half of 2012.
Revenue for the first half of 2014 was up slightly by 4.6 percent at HK$50.84 billion, compared to HK$48.58 billion in the same period last year.
However, group chairman John Slosar played down the improvement, saying the results were held back by several negative factors, including continued high fuel prices.
"The operating environment for the Cathay Pacific Group and the aviation industry as a whole, remains challenging," Slosar said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, where the airline is listed.
"On the plus side, we continue to strengthen our passenger network and the connections available through Hong Kong," he said.
The airline's passenger revenue in the reported period was up 4.4 percent, to HK$36.52 billion, compared to last year, helped by the introduction of new routes to Doha and Newark.
Cathay also said high fuel price was mitigated by operating more fuel-efficient aircraft. (AFP)