© AKUURA. FILE PHOTO: Cathay Pacific employees work at Hong Kong International Airport, in Hong Kong, China March 8, 2023. AKUURA/Lam Yik/File Photo
HONG KONG (AKUURA) -Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways (OTC:) reported on Wednesday a profit of HK$4.3 billion ($550.23 million) for the first half of 2023, its best interim results in more than a decade and a turnaround from losses in the prior three years.
The company also said it would buy back 50% of the HK$19.5 billion of preference shares held by the Hong Kong government by the end of 2023, and the remainder by the end of July 2024 subject to completion of a proposed capital reduction and business conditions at the time.
Cathay issued the shares in 2020 as part of a HK$39 billion rescue package that shored up its finances after travel demand collapsed during the pandemic.
The airline also said it intended to exercise purchase rights to buy 32 Airbus A320neo family aircraft as it looks to add to its fleet as demand rebounds.
The interim result, its best since the first half of 2010, was in line with its guidance given last month when it forecast a profit of up to HK$4.5 billion in the first half of the year as travel demand skyrocketed after border reopenings.
It reported a first-half loss of HK$5.00 billion a year earlier.
Chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement the airline remained on track to achieve its target of reaching 70% pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023 and 100% by the end of 2024.
($1 = 7.8149 Hong Kong dollars)