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Cathay Pacific announces 2004 Annual Results

09 Mar 2005

Results 20042003Change
TurnoverHK$ million39,06529,578+32.1%
Attributable profitHK$ million4,4171,303+239.0%
Earnings per shareHK cents131.439.0+236.9%
Dividend per shareHK cents65.048.0+35.4%

Cathay Pacific Airways today reported its second best full-year results on record with an attributable profit of HK$4,417 million in 2004, compared to HK$1,303 million in 2003. Turnover increased by 32.1% from last year to a record HK$39,065 million.

Cathay Pacific carried a record 13,664,000 passengers and 972,416 tonnes of cargo as the airline increased both flights and capacity, further strengthening Hong Kong as a global aviation hub. The airline extended its Chinese Mainland network with the introduction of a daily service to Beijing and in early 2005 the launch of new passenger service to Xiamen and freighter service to Shanghai.

Improved world and Hong Kong economies were the main drivers for growth. 2004 would have been the airline’s best year on record had there not been a sharp rise in the price of fuel. Fuel accounted for 23.9% of the airline’s total operating cost, up from 19.8% in 2003.

Demand from both business and leisure travellers remained strong throughout the year. Passenger capacity increased by 24.9% over 2003. This increase, combined with higher load factors and yields, which rose 5.8% to HK45.8 cents for every passenger kilometre, contributed to a passenger revenue record of HK$26,407 million.

The airline set a new cargo revenue record of HK$10,549 million, which resulted from the continued growth in demand from Europe, Japan and the United States for goods manufactured in Mainland China. Cargo yield decreased slightly by 1.1% to HK1.76 cents. Access to the Mainland cargo market was further strengthened with the launch in January 2005 of a daily freighter service to Shanghai.

Cathay Pacific’s acquisition of a 10% stake in Air China at its initial public offering established a strategic partnership with the Mainland flag carrier and a platform for co-operation on a number of commercial and operational fronts, including strengthening network connections between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Cathay Pacific Chairman David Turnbull said: "Persistently high fuel prices along with greater regional and long haul competition will place further pressure on us to improve productivity and reduce unit costs. The aviation business often sees sharp ups and downs, yet we remain focused on maintaining profitable growth and are optimistic over our future. We are expanding our network and fleet and will continue to deliver superior service and value to our customers."

2004 Annual Report download