Cathay ekes out 1H profit as air cargo stays weak

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways says it has scratched out a small first-half profit as weak global demand continues to batter its air cargo business.

The carrier said Wednesday that it earned 24 million Hong Kong dollars ($3.1 million) in the January-June period. That's a turnaround from the restated HK$929 million it lost in the same period last year, but less than analysts were forecasting.

Hong Kong's biggest airline said air cargo revenue fell 5 percent from the year before. It said demand has been weak since April 2011 and it did not see any sign of "sustained improvement."

Cathay said its passenger business saw some improvement.

The airline said high jet fuel prices continued to have an "adverse" effect. Fuel is the company's single biggest expense.