Qantas has nearly tripled its first half profit as it begins to realise the benefits of recent tough decisions, its chief executive says. Qantas made a net profit of $111 million in the six months to December 31, up from $42 million in the previous corresponding period. The result falls below analyst expectations of a net profit of $138 million.
“The operating environment remains complex and volatile, but we are now beginning to realise the benefits of the tough decisions that we have made over the past 18 months,” chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.
The airline’s underlying profit before tax, which excludes one-off financial items, was $223 million, up 10 per cent from $202 million in the previous corresponding period. Qantas in November forecast an underlying profit before tax in the range of $180 million to $230 million. All parts of the airline’s business were profitable in the period, except for its international division, which made a loss of $91 million in the six months to December.
That was an improvement from a $262 million loss in the previous corresponding period. Changes to the business, including a proposed alliance with Emirates, were expected to return it to profit, Mr Joyce said. “Qantas International is well advanced in its turnaround plan,” he said. No specific guidance for the full year was provided, due to economic uncertainty, Mr Joyce said. Qantas said it would again not pay an interim dividend to shareholders.