March 14, 2018 / 4:31 AM / a year ago

Cathay Pacific posts annual loss of $161 mln, biggest in 9 years

March 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd posted on Wednesday its biggest annual loss in nine years as fierce competition from mainland Chinese and Middle Eastern rivals exacerbated problems with overcapacity.

It logged a net loss of HK$1.26 billion ($160.69 million) for 2017, wider than last year’s loss of HK$575 million but smaller than an average estimate of HK$2.15 billion drawn from 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

It reported an attributable profit of HK$792 million in the second half, helped by an improving cargo market, which helped offset its first half loss of HK$2.05 billion.

The company is in its second year of a three-year turnaround programme that aims to make HK$4 billion in savings. It has announced job cuts and plans to boost productivity including increasing the number of economy-class seats on Boeing 777 planes. ($1 = 7.8414 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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