Qantas today reported an underlying profit before tax of $852 million and a statutory profit before tax of $715 million for the six months ended 31 December 2016.
While the underlying result was down 7.5 per cent compared with the prior corresponding period, it was above the guidance range provided in October last year, with an upbeat chief executive Alan Joyce saying that the airline is “one of the best performing airline groups in the world.”
Joyce said the result reflects a strong performance in a mixed global aviation market, with the national carrier’s integrated Group strategy and ongoing transformation enabling it to keep delivering value for shareholders while investing for customers.
The fall in statutory profit compared with the first half of financial year 2016 largely reflects the inclusion in last year’s result of a $201 million gain from the sale of Qantas’ Sydney Airport terminal.
All parts of the Qantas Group were profitable in the half. Combined domestic airline earnings across Qantas and Jetstar were $522 million, while Qantas Loyalty had a record result, giving the Group a strong, profitable core in an improving Australian economy. The Jetstar Group as a whole also had a record result.
According to Joyce, the high levels of capacity growth affecting all major airlines impacted Qantas International’s profitability, but it achieved significantly higher margins than the industry average.
“Our transformation program has built a strong, sustainable business that generates returns throughout the economic cycle,” Joyce said.
“Qantas and Jetstar’s domestic operations produced an outstanding result and Qantas Loyalty continued to thrive. It’s a combination that keeps delivering and sets us apart from our competitors.”
The airline also unveiled its new premium economy seat, which will debut on the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from October. Wider and with more functional space overall, the new seat has a unique recline motion that provides a class-leading level of comfort. When the rear of the seat reclines, several sections shift to support the body as passengers move into a more relaxing position.
“The Qantas Dreamliner will by flying some of the longest routes in the world, including non-stop from Perth to London, so we’ve focused on making each cabin the most comfortable in its class,” said Joyce.
Image: The new Qantas premium economy seat, revealed this morning at the release of the airline’s results