Company Briefs: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday reported a HK$2.35 billion (S$406 million) annual profit after two years of losses, as it benefited from rising airfares and a turnaround plan designed to cut costs and boost revenue.

The airline, however, said the outlook for 2019 was expected to remain challenging due to geopolitical discord and global trade tensions dampening passenger and cargo demand, and intense competition particularly on long-haul routes in economy class.

The result for the year ended Dec 31, aided by out-of-the-money fuel hedges rolling off, was in line with Cathay's guidance for HK$2.3 billion profit issued on Feb 20.

The airline lost HK$1.25 billion in 2017.

Cathay reported HK$111 billion in revenue in 2018, up 14.2 per cent from the prior year, driven by its passenger and cargo businesses.

This year, Cathay plans to "compete hard" by extending its route network, increasing frequencies on its most popular routes and operating more fuel-efficient aircraft, chairman John Slosar said in a statement.

CXA Group

Insurtech start-up CXA Group has raised US$25 million (S$34 million) in a bridge funding round for its expansion in the Asia-Pacific.

Key investors in this round include HSBC, Singtel Innov8, Telkom Indonesia MDI Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia, Muang Thai Fuchsia Ventures, Humanica and Heritas Venture Fund. These investors will become strategic partners, licensing CXA's platform to serve their customers or employees.

Ms Rosaline Chow Koo, founder and CEO of CXA Group, said investors in the round were issued a convertible note to Series C. "But since we expect to break even next year, we may not need additional funding," she said.

The latest round follows US$33 million in total funding from Series A and B in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Other investors in CXA include B Capital Group, Openspace Ventures, EDBI, BioVeda Capital, FengHe Asia, Philips and RGAx.

CXA runs a software-as-a-service health and wellness platform. Businesses use this platform to give their employees access to a range of health, wealth and wellness offerings, based on the individual's health and life-stage data.

Employees can purchase offerings by drawing down on existing insurance policies provided by their employers. The platform also offers an e-wallet.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Subscribe