Qantas has exceeded its own financial forecasts for the first half of the year, improving its underlying before tax profit by more than $100 million.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on February 22, 2018

The Qantas Group has reported a 14.6% increase in underlying before tax profit for the first half of the year, jumping to $976 million compared to $852 million in the same half last year.

The result exceeded Qantas’ own expectations, with the Group forecasting profits between $900 million and $950 million for the first six months of the financial year, ending December 31.

It is the airline’s highest ever first half profit.

On top of that, its statutory profit after tax of $607 million increased by $92 million from the first half of 2016/17.

Because “all the targets of the Group’s financial framework [were] met”, Qantas also announced $500 million in shareholder returns, through an on-market share buy-back round of up to $378 million and a 7¢ a share interim dividend.

“After several years of consistent performance, we now have a lot of momentum behind us,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

“Today’s result comes from investing in areas that provide margin growth and a network strategy that makes sure we have the right aircraft on the right route.”