Qantas raises profit expectation by $150M

QANTAS Group has raised its profit expectations for the first half of the 2023 Financial Year, thanks to sustained travel demand.

The Group now expects an Underlying Profit Before Tax of between $1.35 billion and $1.45 billion – a $150 million increase on the estimate provided in early October.

Additionally, the company’s net debt is predicted to drop to between $2.3 – $2.5 billion by 31 December 2022. This is roughly $900 million better than expected in the most recent update – an improvement that can be attributed to increased revenue inflows as customers book flights on Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines into the second half and beyond.

Fuel costs remain substantially higher compared to FY2019, and are on track to reach around $5 billion for FY23, which would be a record high for the Group, despite international capacity at around 30% below pre-pandemic levels.

Qantas has improved its operational performance, ranking as the most on-time domestic airline for the month of October. The airline’s $200 million investment in additional staff, continued recruitment and reserve aircraft will continue to bolster its performance through the busy Christmas period.

It will also help lessen the impact of the latest wave of COVID infections, as well as the impact of extreme weather (particularly wind) in November.

The Group is working to add capacity as quickly as possible in the second half of the year while maintaining operational reliability, with over a million sale fares launched in October and further sales planned in the coming weeks.

In excess of five million reward seats will be made available for frequent flyers over the next year, with more Points Planes to be released shortly.

Qantas also revealed that around 60% of the $2 billion it held in COVID-related travel credits has now been redeemed by customers, with new initiatives to be announced shortly encouraging customers to use the remaining credits over the next year.

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