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Cathay Pacific posts narrower H1 loss as costs fall

Cathay Pacific posts narrower H1 loss as costs fall
August 11, 2021 Web Desk

(Reuters) - Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd on Wednesday posted a HK$7.57 billion ($973 million) first-half loss, narrower than the prior year's HK$9.87 billion, due to cost-cutting measures and strong air cargo demand.

The net loss for the six months ended June 30 was in line with the company's guidance that it would be "somewhat" lower than the prior year.

Revenue fell 42.7% to HK$15.85 billion.

"COVID-19 continued to pose significant challenges for the Cathay Group in the first half of 2021 and this continues to be the toughest period in our history," Chairman Patrick Healy said in a statement.

The airline lacks a domestic market and has been flying a minimal number of passengers during the pandemic, though its large cargo business has performed strongly.

Cathay has said it expects to reduce its monthly cash burn in the second half as rules are eased for vaccinated crew and passenger capacity rises to as much as 30% of pre-COVID levels in the fourth quarter. 

It is likely to report a HK$9.85 billion full-year loss, according to the average of 14 estimates compiled by Refinitiv, which would represent a much-improved second half.