In a significant speech to the finance community, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has taken the opportunity to review the airline’s transformation in what he described as an “immense” achievement, while remaining cautious about costs and full-year results.
“The level of activity and achievement has been immense. If you take just the month of April we’ve launched our first new uniform in over a decade, opened a state-of-the-art lounge in Singapore, taken delivery of Jetstar’s 100th aircraft, hit a milestone of five million Jetstar customers in New Zealand, opened a hangar in Brisbane to service our regional aircraft and launched a whole new world of travel with our partnership with Emirates,” Joyce noted.
But while acknowledging the advances under the intensive transformation process, Joyce was candid about costs associated with the change program in what could be seen as positioning statements for the airline’s full-year results.
“We’ve always made it clear that long-term gain can’t be achieved without the short term cost of transition. We are certainly seeing the benefits begin to flow from initiatives already undertaken. But there will be cost impacts within the second half of FY13, which is typically the weaker half in each year, as we implement our strategy,” he explained.
The CEO was unable to give profit guidance for the full financial year: “We are a $16 billion revenue business with exposure to numerous external and global forces, where a small shift can create a significant movement in our earnings.
“Given this high degree of volatility and uncertainty, the Group continues to be unable to provide profit guidance at this time.
“Our plans are in place, and progressing. We remain extremely confident about the Group’s strategy, and our future,” Joyce concluded.