Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says the airline group is on track to post an underlying profit before tax for the first half of 2014/15.
The updated guidance, delivered to shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on Friday, was unchanged from the outlook the airline presented at its 2013/14 full year results presentation at the end of August.
“Preliminary figures indicate that the group has made an underlying profit before tax for the first quarter of financial year 2015,” Joyce said in prepared remarks.
“On the back of the hard work of the people of the Qantas Group, we are on track to delver an underlying profit for the first half of the financial year.”
The airline posted a $2.8 billion statutory net loss in 2013/14, driven by a massive non-cash writedown to the carrying value of its international aircraft fleet.
Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford said the airline group was “well aware of the challenges in the current economic environment, and are responding with both cost reduction and careful capacity management.”
“The group’s domestic earnings recovery will be driven by cost reduction in the short-term – positioning the group for strong returns as and when the market picks up,” Clifford told shareholders.
“In addition, the domestic industry is stabilising, with a significant easing of the capacity growth of recent years.”
The AGM was expected to hear from members of the Transport Workers Union, who were at the meeting to ask questions about job security and urging the board and management to chart a new course.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who purchased a parcel of shares in order to be able to ask questions of management and the board, was also in attendance and keen to seek answers on the cost of Qantas’s Jetstar ventures in Asia.