Qantas comes through turbulence to post historic profits

Headed up by Irishman Alan Joyce, the Australian airline has pulled off a stunning turnaround...

Qantas comes through turbulence to post historic profits

Picture by: Steve Parsons / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Qantas has reported a full-year underlying profit of A$1.53 billion (€1.03 bn), the biggest ever in the 95-year history of Australia's national airline. 

Profit before tax of A$1.42bn for the year ending June 30th was nearly double the previous year's A$789m, meaning the "Flying Kangaroo" can now pay shareholders a final dividend for the first time in seven years.

A dividend of 7 cents per share was confirmed, and the company will also be giving staff a A$3,000 "record result bonus".

Each of its main operating divisions – its domestic, international and budget carrier subsidiaries – saw record underlying earnings for the year.

Considering Qantas posted a loss of A$2.8bn a mere two years ago, the return to healthy profit represents a huge turnaround, thanks to the major restructuring carried out by Dublin-born CEO Alan Joyce.

Capacity has been cut, staff numbers have been reduced, and falling oil prices have also helped things. Despite this, it still came short of analysts' forecasts.

Joyce said in a statement:

"Transformation has made us a more agile business, created value for our shareholders and given us a platform to invest for the future."

The news helped shares rise more than 4%.

Joyce recently sat down in the Down to Business executive chair for a career-spanning chat: