Earnings for Cathay Pacific Airways over the next two years will be at the mercy of fluctuating currencies, fuel prices and rates for the new airport, according to analysts. While many saw last year's results as above expectations, they said there were too many variable factors to give the company a ringing recommendation. The consensus among analyst forecasts for Cathay's results for this year was for attributable profit to rise 12 per cent to $4.13 billion. Deutsche Morgan Grenfell director Viktor Shvets said: 'Looking forward, the critical factors will be the fuel prices and the currency. There will also be the demand supply situation after July 1997 and the effect of the move to Chek Lap Kok in 1998.' The most important concern for many remained currency movements. The heavy fall in the Japanese yen last year hurt Cathay's passenger yields, and renewed weakness could see further deterioration this year. Some brokerages houses tipped the yen to decline to about 130 to the US dollar by the end of the year from its current level of 122. Cathay management admitted there was little it could do in the face of the rising yen. Not all brokerages were pessimistic. SocGen-Crosby assistant director Robert Sassoon said: 'Our house view is that the yen should recover some of its losses and that should be good news for Cathay. The yield may have a little bounce this year.' Over the longer term, analysts said a major determining factor in Cathay's earnings would be the amount of fees levied by the Airport Authority for use of the Chek Lap Kok airport. The authority began a fifth meeting with the International Air Transport Association yesterday to discuss the charges question. The authority last year acknowledged the possibility the fees could be doubled. Cathay directors spoke out again yesterday against high fees and called for moderation. Managing director David Turnbull said: 'We are very excited about the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, provided the charges for the airport remain competitive.' Analysts said that while Cathay might pass on much of the fee rise to passengers, it would affect its profit margins. ING Barings head of research Mark Simpson said he expected 13 per cent earnings growth but added investors would have to watch for yen movements. Concern over currency, fuel, fees and competition has seen Cathay shares fall 6.83 per cent over the past 12 months.