Cathay Pacific posts record HK$21.65b annual loss because of pandemic

[SYDNEY] Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways reported on Wednesday a record annual loss of HK$21.65 billion (S$3.76 billion), caused by a sharp downturn in travel associated with the pandemic, restructuring costs and fleet writedowns.

The 2020 loss compared with 2019 profit of HK$1.69 billion and was worse than an average forecast for a net loss of HK$19.9 billion by 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Cathay had warned it expected the second-half loss to be "significantly higher" than the record first-half loss of HK$9.87 billion.

"Market conditions remain challenging and dynamic," Cathay chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement. "All our cash preservation measures will continue unabated."

Cathay lacks a domestic market at a time when international borders are largely closed. In December, Cathay's passenger numbers fell by 98.7 per cent compared with a year earlier, though cargo carriage was down by a smaller 32.3 per cent.

Nearly 60 per cent of its 2020 revenue of HK$47.9 billion was from its cargo operations, up from around 20 per cent in 2019.

REUTERS

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