HONG KONG, March 13 (UPI) -- Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Group Wednesday reported its 2012 profits fell 83.3 percent from 2011, citing high fuel costs and weak air cargo demand.
Although 2012 revenues rose 1 percent from 2011 to $12.81 billion, 2012 profits fell to $118 million, from $709 million in 2011. Earnings per share were down 83 percent to 3 cents.
"In 2012 the group's core business was adversely affected by the high price of jet fuel, pressure on passenger yields and weak air cargo demand," the company said.
"Economic uncertainty, particularly in the eurozone countries and an increasingly competitive environment added to the difficulties. It was a challenging year for the aviation industry generally. The group's share of profits from associated companies, including Air China, showed a marked decline."
Cathay said its two airlines carried a total of 29 million people in 2012.
"The Cathay Pacific Group operates in a volatile and challenging industry, one that will always be highly susceptible to external factors that remain largely beyond our control," Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt said.
"The cost of fuel remains the biggest challenge, particularly for an airline such as ours where long-haul operations form a significant part of our total operations."
He said the company has taken the right measures to deal with current challenges and will take similar steps if business environment doesn't improve.
"Our focus will remain on protecting the business and managing short-term difficulties while remaining committed to our long-term strategy," he said. "Our financial position remains strong and we will continue to invest in the future."
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