Qantas full-year results don’t tell the whole story

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Yes, Qantas reported a full year profit of A$181 million ($150 million) for the year ended 30 June 2009, down 87% from a year before. But that is not the full story.

For the first half of its fiscal year, the six months to 31 December 2008, the carrier made a profit before tax of A$288 million. In the second half, however, it lost A$107 million.

Both are a dramatic drop from a year, but the airline will be very worried about its business at a time when demand has fallen dramatically and there is little sign of recovery.

Little wonder, than, that Qantas is trying to keep costs down. It expects to save A$1.5 billion over the next three years as part of a new plan, and that may be key to whether it manages to be profitable in this and the next quarter – and the full year.

It will continue to be a challenging year for Australia’s flag carrier.

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