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The Cathay Pacific Group reported an attributable profit of HK$24 million for the first six months of 2013. This compares with a restated loss of HK$929 million in the first half of 2012. Earnings per share were HK0.6 cents compared with a restated loss per share of HK23.6 cents in the first half of 2012. Turnover for the period fell by 0.6% to HK$48,584 million.

The directors have declared a first interim dividend of HK$0.06 per share (2012: nil) for the six months ended 30 June 2013. The interim dividend which totals HK$236 million (2012: nil) will be paid on 3 October 2013.

The group continued to operate in a challenging business environment in the first half of 2013, though there was improvement in its passenger business. Demand in the major air cargo markets remained weak. The persistently high price of jet fuel continued to have an adverse effect on business. Share of losses from associated companies increased.

In 2012, the group introduced measures designed to protect its business, in particular from the high price of jet fuel. It changed schedules, reduced capacity and withdrew older, less fuel-efficient aircraft from service. The fuel and aircraft maintenance components of its operating costs in the first half of 2013 were significantly lower and financial performance improved as a result. But the group said it “did not allow cost reductions to compromise the brand or quality of service offered by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair”, and continued to make major investments in new aircraft, new products and the new cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, which would benefit the business in the long term.