Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. almost tripled annual profit after an increase in passenger numbers and a surge in cargo volumes that made it the world’s largest international air-freight carrier.
Net income jumped to HK$14 billion ($1.8 billion) from HK$4.7 billion a year earlier, the Hong Kong-based carrier said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange Wednesday. The airline also said it had agreed to an order for 15 Airbus SAS A330-300 planes.
The airline’s cargo volumes jumped 18 percent last year as China’s growing exports and rising demand for luxury goods boosted volumes into and out of the country. John Slosar, who takes over as chief executive officer on March 31, may face slower freight and passenger demand this year as China tightens lending and oil trades near its highest since 2008.
“It’s impossible to maintain such a strong growth rate,” said Kelvin Lau, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research. “Cargo is sure to slow this year on China exports.”