UPDATE 2-Cathay Pacific swings to profit; recovery uncertain

miércoles 5 de agosto de 2009 12:33 CEST

* Net profit HK$812 million, on HK$2.1 bln fuel-hedge gain

* Revenue down 27 pct; fuel prices a concern - chairman

* Has enough cash but can't rule out fund-raising in future

* Shares give up early gains to fall 3.6 pct (Updates with press conference, analyst comments)

By Nerilyn Tenorio and Joanne Chiu

HONG KONG, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's top carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways (0293.HK: Cotización), warned of strong headwinds ahead, with concerns over high fuel prices dimming immediate prospects for a pick-up in demand.

The company reported on Wednesday it had swung back to profit in the first half and said it had enough cash to fund aircraft purchases, but announced no interim dividend payment and did not rule out the possibility of tapping the equity markets further down the track.

"The results were pretty much in line with our expectations, but if there is no improvement or sustained recovery in the second half, the company may need to consider raising funds in the market," said Jim Wong, regional head of transport research at Nomura Securities.

Cathay's shares briefly surged as much as 5.2 percent on the headline profit numbers but closed down 3.6 percent at HK$12.20 on worries about the need for more cash.   Continuación...