Cathay Pacific has released its 2009 financial figures, showing that the consolidated Group earned a profit of HK$4.7bn (A$66.1m), reversing a loss from the year before.
The profit came despite a 22.6 per cent fall in turnover to HK$67bn (A$9.4bn) due to lower demand and yields on both passenger and cargo services, although costs were contained due to lower fuel prices. Nevertheless, the core airline business was able to record an operating profit of HK$285m (A$40m), compared to a loss of HK$1.44bn (A$202m) last year, while the Group also benefited from the HK$1.9bn (A$267m) sale of shares in Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO).
Despite signs of a recovery during the end of 2009, chairman Christopher Pratt said in a letter to shareholders that the company remains cautious about the year ahead, noting that premium travel remains below pre-downturn levels. “There are concerns that the adverse changes which we have seen in the pattern of passenger and freight demand could be structural rather than cyclical. In addition, the cost of fuel, which rose steadily from the middle of 2009, remains stubbornly high and threatens to undermine profitability.”