Cathay Pacific Airways says it expects to record a profit of approximately HKD 2.3 billion (USD 293 million) for the year ended 31 December 2018, compared to a loss of HK$1,259 million a year earlier.
The positive results mean an end to a record two-year run of losses as a revamp kicked off by Asia’s biggest international carrier starts to yield results.
The Hong Kong carrier issued a ‘Profit Alert’ via a stock exchange announcement to shareholders based on a preliminary review of unaudited consolidated accounts of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2018.
The carrier says that in 2018, “the passenger business benefited from capacity growth, a focus on customer service and improved revenue management. Load factors were sustained and yield improved despite competitive pressures. The cargo business was strong. Capacity, yield and load factors increased. The Company’s transformation programme has had a positive impact.”
The company is still in the process of finalising the Group’s annual results for the year ended 31 December 2018 which will be published in March 2019.
Cathay Pacific terminated employees as it rationalised its operations, including paring back its overseas operations after losses from fuel hedging and ramped up competition from Chinese mainland carriers and low cost carriers, plunged the company into losses over the last two years.
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried 166,735 tonnes of cargo and mail in January, a decrease of 3.4 per cent compared to the same month last year.
The cargo and mail load factor fell by 3.8 percentage points to 61.6 per cent while capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTKs), grew marginally by 0.8 per cent. Cargo and mail revenue freight tonne kilometres (RFTKs) decreased by 5.2 per cent.
Cathay Pacific director Commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam says: “Chinese New Year this year was earlier than last, leading to a slight distortion in both passenger and cargo revenue for January and February.
“Cargo uplift gradually picked up before Chinese New Year, but the pre-holiday rush was not as strong as last year. As a result, our cargo revenue recorded small negative year-on-year growth in January. Some short-term capacity rationalisation was made to better match demand.”