Falling air cargo demand from Hong Kong and mainland China has hit profits at Cathay Pacific leading chairman Christopher Pratt to warn: “We are still operating in a very challenging environment, particularly for our cargo business.”
The group said cargo performed reasonably well in the first quarter of 2011. However, from April onwards, demand for shipments from its two most important markets, Hong Kong and Mainland China, weakened significantly and remained weak for the rest of the year.
Cargo revenue for 2011 increased by 0.3 per cent to HK$26bn (£2.1bn) compared with 2010. Yield was up by 3.9 per cent. Capacity increased by 6.9 per cent. The load factor, however, fell by 8.5 percentage points to 67.2 per cent. Capacity was managed to keep it in line with demand.
In 2011 Cathay Pacific started cargo services to Bengaluru in India, Chongqing and Chengdu in Western China and Zaragoza in Spain.
Total group sales for 2011 were up ten per cent to HK$98.4bn (£8.1bn) but net profit was down 61 per cent at HK$5.5bn (£450m).