Qantas today reported a statutory profit after tax of $206 million for the six months ended December 31st.
This is Qantas’ best first-half performance since 2010 and an improvement of $619 million compared with the same period last year.
The main factors in the underlying improvement were the $374 million Qantas gained from its Transformation programme, with there was also $208 million in reduced depreciation.
Qantas also benefitted for $162 million in increased revenue per available seat kilometre, saw a $59 million gain from the removal of the carbon tax and benefited to the tune of $33 million from lower fuel prices.
The group achieved a 4.8 per cent reduction in comparable unit cost and a 2.1 per cent increase in revenue to $8.1 billion, driven by rapid progress with Qantas Transformation and recovering yields and loads in a stabilising environment.
Qantas is now targeting $675 million of transformation benefits in financial year 2015, up from the previous target of $600 million.
Combined with the $204 million in benefits realised in financial year 2014, this will result in total benefits of at least $875 million by 30 June 2015.
In the domestic market, Qantas and Jetstar reported combined underlying EBIT of close to $300 million.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the result showed that the group was executing the right plan with discipline and speed.
“The decisive factor in our best half-year result for four years was our complete focus on the Qantas Transformation programme,” Mr Joyce said.
“It’s clear that without the impact of transformation, we would not be announcing a profit today.
“Our people have worked hard and made a huge contribution to bring about the change we need. They deserve great credit for this result.
“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.”
Qantas is de-leveraging its balance sheet and increasing its return on invested capital.
The group’s cash flow improved rapidly compared with the same period last year, with cash generated from operations up 44.8 per cent to $1 billion.