Qantas forecasts second-best annual profit

Australia's biggest airline is confident that is income for the year ending June 30 will be among the highest the carrier has posted as the domestic market improves.

A Qantas Airways Airbus A330-300 jet takes off from Sydney International Airport. The carrier expects to post strong earnings for its fiscal year. Jason Reed / Reuters
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Qantas Airways, Australia’s biggest airline, said it expects to post its second-best annual profit this year, just ahead of analyst estimates, as the domestic market improves and challenging conditions in the international market moderate.

It forecast a full-year underlying pretax profit of A$1.35 billion (Dh3.66bn) to A$1.4bn for the year ending June 30, above the average estimate of A$1.34bn of eight analysts polled by Reuters.

Qantas had not previously released full-year profit guidance. The full-year guidance would represent a fall of 8.5 per cent to 12 per cent from last year’s record A$1.53bn underlying profit before tax.

“Between our domestic flying businesses, Qantas and Jetstar, and Loyalty we are delivering solid earnings growth,” said the Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.

“Internationally it’s still tough, with high levels of capacity growth pushing fares down, but we’ve seen those conditions ease slightly.”

Qantas’ Loyalty division includes its frequent flyer programme and related businesses.

In the quarter ended March 31, Qantas cut domestic capacity at a time of weak demand but increased international flying as it added more services to Asia, including the resumption of Sydney-Beijing flights.

The airline reported a 1.6 per cent fall in revenue to A$3.96bn for the quarter.

Qantas shares closed at a nine-year high of A$4.42 on Thursday before the release of its quarterly update. The company is due to hold an investor briefing on Friday.

* Reuters

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