Qantas expects first half profit jump

** FILE ** A Tuesday, July 24, 2007 file photo of the tail of a Qantas Boeing 767 in Sydney. Qantas announced they are closing their Maintenance Facility at Avalon, Melbourne, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) NO ARCHIVING
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Qantas’ fortunes continue to improve, with the airline expecting to post an underlying profit before tax of between $875 million and $925 million in the first six months of the current financial year.

The airline had reported underlying PBT of $367 million in the first six months of 2014/15, and went on to post a $557 million net profit for the full year.

The strong first half performance comes on the back of its $2 billion Qantas transformation program, revenue growth, and the benefit from lower fuel prices, the airline said.

“We’ve seen improved revenue in our domestic and international operations, reduced costs across the group, and expect another record half-year result from Qantas Loyalty,” chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“This strong performance is underpinned by our continued focus on delivering the best service for our customers in all of the markets we serve.”

The $25 million impact of the Bali ash cloud on Jetstar’s first half result has been factored into the forecast, Qantas confirmed.

It will announce its first half results on February 23.

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