Huge profits rise for Cathay Pacific

<p>Cathay Pacific has posted a 200 per cent increase in its profits.</p>

The share price of Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific fell today (March 12th) despite the firm announcing a massive rise in profits in its latest financial results.

It was revealed by the company that it made $2.6 billion Hong Kong dollars (£201 million) in 2013, which was more than 200 per cent up on its results for the previous year.

But as this was still some way below the expectations of analysts, the share price of the company still fell slightly during the course of today's trading sessions in the Far East.

"The operating environment remained challenging throughout 2013, for [Cathay Pacific] and the aviation industry as a whole. It was therefore encouraging to see an improvement in our overall performance," said chairman Christopher Pratt in a statement.

Passenger rise

Among the reasons for the gigantic spike in the airline's profits in the last 12 months was a rise in the number of passengers it carried. It was noted in a statement that 2013 saw the company carry 29.9 million people in 2013, which was more than three per cent up on the figures for 2012.

However, one of the sections of the business to be holding back growth is its cargo business, which continues to be weak after a slowdown in 2011. Cathay Pacific still remains one of the world's largest cargo carriers, but this industry was hit harder than most by the global financial crash and the recessions this caused all over the world.

"Despite current adverse market conditions, we remain confident in Hong Kong's future as an air cargo centre," Cathay said in its earnings report.

Investors will now be eagerly awaiting to see if the company's new chief executive, Ivan Chu, is is set to take over the role in the coming weeks, will oversee a further upturn in the airline's profits in the coming months and years.

Stocks in Cathay Pacific slipped 2.41 per cent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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