RE-JOYCE: Qantas Is Back In The Black, Scraping In With A Profit For The Year

Alan JoycePhoto: Getty / Robert Cianflone

Qantas just booked a statutory profit after tax of $6 million for the year.

It’s a big turnaround for the airline after it posted a statutory loss of $244 million last year, with the main driver being improvements in Qantas international, where EBIT losses for the year were halved to $246 million.

The domestic market — especially corporate travel — and Jetstar have been the main profit drivers.

Carbon tax charges for Qantas domestic and Jetstar totalled $106 million.

A change to accounting estimates for recognising passenger revenue when tickets are past their use-by date led to a $134 million improvement to the bottom line.

Outlays totalling $82 million for the Dubai hub transition and pilot back pay dragged on the bottom line for the international arm, which is undergoing a five-year turnaround plan.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said this morning that volatility in the Aussie dollar and uncertainty around the pace of the global economic recovery were challenges to the airline in the short term.

“We have seen the Australian dollar record its second largest quarterly fall since the float,” he said. “Over the long term, we view the lower dollar as a positive. It encourages inbound tourism. And it reduces the cost deficit between Qantas and our competitors.

“But in the short term a lower dollar is a challenge, resulting in higher fuel costs – when jet fuel is already a major headwind. At current market rates we expect underlying fuel costs to be $160 million higher in the first half than in the prior period.”

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