Qantas full-year pre-tax profit up 46% despite difficult conditions

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The Qantas Group saw its full-year profits before tax jump by 46% to Australian dollar (A$) 552 million ($575 million) in the year ending 30 June.

The result was achieved through improvements in earnings across all operating segments and despite the A$224 million financial impact of natural disasters and over A$200 million of ongoing losses in Qantas International.

Qantas Airways' underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was A$228 million, up sharply from $67 million a year earlier. Jetstar's underlying EBIT was A$169 million. The Qantas Frequent Flyer programme generated underlying EBIT of A$342 million and its freight operations generated A$62 million.

The group delivered an improved revenue performance during the fiscal year, driven by improvements in yield and growth in capacity in both Qantas and Jetstar. Total revenue for the year rose by 8% to A$14.9 billion compared with A$13.8 billion for the same period last year.

Its operating expenses amounted to A$12.4 billion, an increase of 7% compared with A$11.6 billion in 2010. Fuel costs increased by 12%, driven by growth in activity and increases in fuel prices that have escalated through the second half of the year.

Its net passenger revenue increased by 10% and capacity rose by 7% following the expansion of the group's fleet by 29 aircraft to 283 at 30 June. This includes the significant growth of the Jetstar business and the acquisition of Network Aviation Group.

"Qantas remains the most profitable domestic airline, offsetting the losses in the international business. During FY11 we strengthened our business travel credentials with new aircraft and new airport infrastructure, while the acquisition of the WA [Western Australia]-based charter airline Network Aviation increased our presence in regional Australia," said chief executive Alan Joyce.

Its operating cash flows grew to A$1.8 billion, an increase of 32% on the previous year's result of A$1.35 billion. Qantas Group cash was A$3.5 billion at 30 June, a decrease of A$208 million from 30 June 2010.