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Flying roo bounces back

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Qantas has returned to profitability after several years in the red, announcing half-year before tax profits of $367 million, its best result since 2010.

The international arm of the airline, Qantas International, meanwhile reported underlying profit after tax of $59 million, the first profit it has delivered since before the global financial crisis.

This is a major turnaround from last year, when the airline suffered a record $2.8 billion loss.

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Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said cost savings from a $2 billion, three-year transformation program, lower fuel costs and stronger returns in its domestic business are the main factors behind the airline’s improved performance.

“The decisive factor in our best half-year result for four years was our complete focus on the Qantas Transformation program,” Mr Joyce said.

“What sets this transformation apart is that we are reducing costs permanently while at the same time delivering Qantas’ best ever fleet, product and service.

“We are meeting or exceeding all our targets as we build a sustainable future for Qantas with an emphasis on growing long-term shareholder value.

“Our financial position is significantly stronger because of the actions we’ve taken, and we are giving Qantas a solid foundation for growth in earnings.”

Rival Virgin Australia’s performances also improved in the same period, making an underlying profit of $10 million and a net loss of $53 million.

Also reporting financial results on Thursday is Billabong International and private hospital owner Ramsay Health Care.

– with AAP

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