Cathay expects strong financial results for H1

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Cathay Pacific Airways expects "strong financial results" for the first half of this year, revising an earlier forecast of its prospects in 2010.

"The improved cargo and premium passenger revenues which became apparent in the last quarter of 2009 have continued into this year. This means that, despite higher fuel prices, we expect strong financial results for the first half of 2010 and, if present trends continue, for the second half also," says the Oneworld carrier,

In March, Cathay's chairman Chris Pratt said the carrier remained "cautious" about the prospects for 2010, as revenues and yields were still below pre-downturn levels and premium passenger demand had not improved.

But since then, the carrier's trading position has been strong, particularly on the cargo side, says Cathay today.

"That said, conditions can change very rapidly in the airline industry. Our results would be adversely affected, and very quickly so, by a significant increase in fuel prices or any return to the recessionary economic conditions of 2008 and much of 2009," it adds.

Cathay posted a net profit of HK$4.7 billion ($605.7 million) in 2009, rebounding from a net loss of HK$8.7 billion in 2008.