The Cathay Pacific Group announced 2012 annual results on Wednesday, saying that attributable profit plunged 83.3 percent, due to high jet fuel prices, global economic uncertainty, and weak demand for air cargo.
The Hong Kong based flag airline reported an attributable profit of 916 million HK dollars (about 118 million U.S. dollars) for 2012 -- an 83.3 percent fall compared to the profit of 5.501 billion HK dollars reported for 2011, even though turnover for the year rose 1.0 percent to 99.376 billion HK dollars.
"It was a challenging year for the aviation industry," Cathay Pacific chairman Christopher Pratt said in a press conference held on Wednesday, "Economic uncertainty, particularly in the euro zone countries, and an increasingly competitive environment added to the difficulties," he added.
Hong Kong's biggest airline said that "sustained high levels" of jet fuel prices, which account for 41 percent of its total operation costs, weakened its performance.
"Profit from premium class sales were hit as companies cut back on travel for executives while weak demand from major export markets, especially Europe, hurt the cargo business," Pratt said.
The Cathay, which also owns regional Hong Kong-based carrier Dragonair, said it carried a total of 29 million passengers in 2012, up 5 percent on the previous year. Passenger revenue for the year was 70.133 billion HK dollars, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to 2011 while the cargo revenue decreased 5.5 percent to 24.555 billion HK dollars.
"We believe we have taken the right measures to deal with current challenges and will take whatever further measures are necessary should the business environment not improve," Pratt said. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.76 HK dollars)