Qantas eyes record yearly profit despite rising fuel bill

Australia's Qantas Airways yesterday said it expected a 10.7 per cent rise in full-year underlying pre-tax profit, despite an expected A$200 million (S$200 million) increase in fuel costs.

The country's largest airline forecast record underlying profit before tax in the range of A$1.55 billion to A$1.6 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, compared with A$1.4 billion profit a year earlier.

The guidance was in line with the average estimate of A$1.55 billion of eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Group revenue for the third quarter ended March 31 rose 7.5 per cent to A$4.25 billion.

Revenue per available seat kilometre, a measure that combines the fares paid and the percentage of seats filled, was 6 per cent higher.

"Qantas is on track to deliver another record full-year result even though we are facing a A$200 million increase in our total fuel bill in FY18," chief executive Alan Joyce said in the airline's third-quarter update. He said the firm was seeing robust results from each of its business units, which he attributed to "broadly positive" trading conditions.

Qantas said it had ordered six additional Boeing Dreamliners for its international fleet, enabling the retirement of six 747s.

In February, the airline reported a record half-year underlying profit before tax of A$976 million due to cost cuts and hikes in domestic fares.

For the third quarter, revenue per available seat kilometre rose 8 per cent in the domestic market and was 5.2 per cent higher in the international market.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'Qantas eyes record yearly profit despite rising fuel bill'. Print Edition | Subscribe