Qantas soars to record halfyear profit


Qantas soars to record $921m half-year profit

Lower oil prices has helped Qantas post a record underlying pre-tax profit of $921m Australian dollars ($665m; £470m) for the six months to December.

The result is the best first-half profit in the Australian airline”s 95-year history.

It was $554m higher than the same period in 2014.

However, Qantas fell 5% in morning trading in Sydney despite announcing a A$500m share buyback.

The buyback is aimed at pushing up the value of its shares and shoring up investor sentiment.

Evan Lucas, an IG Markets analyst, said the slide on Tuesday was partly due to a near-7% rise in oil prices overnight.

“Qantas has forecast lower costs in the future due to lower oil prices globally, so the oil price rise overnight is impacting shares today,” he said.

In December the airline said it expected to report better-than-expected profits for the period due to lower oil prices and a continued focus on its revival plans and forecast a figure of about $875m for the period.

“Without a focus on revenue, costs and balance sheet strength, today”s result would not have been possible,” said chief executive Alan Joyce on Tuesday.

“Both globally and domestically, the aviation industry is intensely competitive. That”s why it”s so important that we maintain our cost discipline, invest to grow revenue, and continue innovating with new ventures and technology.”

In the year to June 2015, Qantas posted a return to annual profit and announced plans to buy new planes.

Underlying pre-tax profit came in at A$975m, compared with a loss of A$646m for the year earlier.

The company said it would not give annual profit guidance due to “industry and economic dynamics”.