Cathay Pacific 2012 net profit plunges 83 pct

HONG KONG, March 13 Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:22am EDT

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HONG KONG, March 13 (Reuters) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd , the world's largest international air cargo carrier, returned to profit in the second half of 2012 as a result of higher cargo volume and cost-cutting measures.

The airline reported net profit of HK$916 million ($118 million) for the year ended December, down 83 percent from 2011, and narrowly missing an average forecast of HK$1.01 bil1ion profit from 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cathay reversed a first-half loss of HK$935 million but its yearly figure was substantially lower than the 2011 profit of HK$5.5 billion due to high fuel costs and an uncertain global economy, which depressed passenger and cargo demand compared with the previous year.

For the second half Of 2012, Cathay made a net profit of HK$1.85 billion versus HK$2.7 billion a year ago, based on Reuters calculations.

Controlled by property conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd , Cathay is also 30 percent owned by national flag carrier Air China Ltd . ($1 = 7.7568 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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