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Fuel prices hammer Cathay Pacific profits

Cathay Pacific Airways' profit fell 61pc last year, hurt by persistently high prices for jet fuel and weakness in the world's major economies, the airline has said.

Hong Kong's biggest airline said profit fell last year to 5.5 billion Hong Kong dollars (€547 million), or 1.40 dollars a share.

The airline said jet fuel prices had a "significant effect" on operating results. Cathay spent 12.5 billion dollars more on fuel in 2011 than the year before, reflecting both higher jet fuel costs and that it flew more routes.

Demand for air cargo shipments from Hong Kong and mainland China fell, buffeted by the slumping global economy. The company said European demand was particularly weak.