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Qantas Airways interim net profit jumps 17.9%

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Qantas Airways posted a bumper 17.9 per cent jump in interim net profit to A$607 million (S$626 million) on Thursday and announced a share buyback with a strong result in its domestic arm boosting the bottom line.

[SYDNEY] Qantas Airways posted a bumper 17.9 per cent jump in interim net profit to A$607 million (S$626 million) on Thursday and announced a share buyback with a strong result in its domestic arm boosting the bottom line.

The Australian carrier's underlying profit before tax, its preferred measure which strips out one-time costs, was the highest in its history at A$976 million in the six months to December 31.

The result comes on the back of an aggressive efficiency drive and despite rising fuel costs.

"We met, or exceeded, all targets of our financial framework," said chief executive Alan Joyce.

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"Debt is towards the bottom of our target range. Every division is returning more than its cost of capital." Qantas Domestic, the Jetstar Group and its loyalty programme all reported record results, while its international arm "held its own in a market that is producing some extremely low air fares".

"This result shows what our previous record results have shown - we have a strong portfolio of businesses and the right integrated strategy for managing them," said Mr Joyce.

The airline declared a final dividend of 7.0 cents and announced an on-market share buyback of A$378 million.

Profits were supported by a strong showing in the local market, with earnings from the domestic arm of the business growing 20 per cent to A$447 million.

The international division slipped six percent to A$222 million, while Jetstar jumped 16 per cent to A$318 million.

AFP

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