Qantas flags lower interim earnings
AUSTRALIAN carrier Qantas flagged a hit to first half earnings with falling international airfares offsetting a decline in fuel prices.
The airline, which has turned itself around in recent years on the back of aggressive cost-cutting, said it expects underlying profit before tax to be between A$800-850 million (US$607-645 million) for the six months ending December.
This compares to A$921 million in the same period a year ago.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said the interim forecast was based on revenue falling 3.2 percent in the three months to September 30 due to increased competition in the airline industry.
“Like most carriers globally, we are seeing international airfares below where they were 12 months ago,” he said in a trading update.
In the year to June 30, Qantas posted a record net annual profit of A$1.42 billion and announced its first payout to shareholders in seven years.It followed a push to cut some A$2 billion in costs and restructure the airline over three years beginning in early 2014, with thousands of jobs axed and dozens of aircraft sold or orders deferred.