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February, 2024

Qantas Group reports 13% profit dip, announces major investments into customer satisfaction boost

Qantas Group has reported an underlying profit before tax of $1.25 billion for the first half of 2024, marking a 13% decrease from the same period in FY23.

The group’s statutory profit after tax stands at $869 million, also down 13%, with statutory earnings per share reported at 52 cents, a 4% decrease. The group’s net debt is reported at $4.0 billion. In response to these figures, Qantas Group has announced an additional on-market share buy-back of up to $400 million.

“We know that millions of Australians rely on us and we’ve heard their feedback loud and clear,” Group CEO, Vanessa Hudson, stated.

As the aviation industry continues to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Qantas Group reports that fares are falling as capacity normalises and restart costs are unwinding.

“We understand the need for affordable air travel and fares have fallen more than 10 per cent since peaking in late 2022. At the same time, we’ve seen a cost benefit from fewer cancellations and delays, and scale benefits as more international flying returns,” Hudson said.

Customer satisfaction has reportedly improved significantly, but Hudson acknowledged there is more work to be done. “There’s a lot of work happening to lift our service levels and the early signs are really positive. Our customer satisfaction scores have bounced back strongly since December and we have more service and product improvements in the pipeline.”

Capital expenditure is expected to rise in FY25 to between $3.7-$3.9 billion. The group has ordered 8 additional A321XLRs for Qantas Domestic and plans to accelerate the rollout of Wi-Fi on Qantas International flights from the end of 2024. A $500 staff travel credit will also be given to around 24,000 employees.

Total flying increased by 25% on an available seat kilometre basis and the group carried 3.3 million more passengers compared with 1H23. Travel demand remains strong across all sectors, with leisure leading and business travel now approaching pre-Covid levels.

Qantas Group has announced major investments for customers, including new A220 aircraft interiors, accelerated rollout of Wi-Fi on international flights, and a major upgrade to digital platforms. Hudson added, “Having the financial strength to keep investing is key, and that makes the strong performance that all business units had in the first half so important.”

Qantas Domestic increased its flying by 5% in 1H24 in response to the ongoing recovery in business travel. However, underlying EBIT for Qantas Domestic declined by 18% to $641 million compared with 1H23. Jetstar Domestic’s underlying EBIT increased by 35% to $175 million.

Qantas International increased its capacity by 39% in 1H24. Qantas Loyalty expanded significantly during the half, adding more members to reach 15.8 million and adding several major program partners. Underlying EBIT for Qantas Loyalty grew by 23% compared with 1H23 to reach $270 million.

The strong performance in calendar 2023 meant Loyalty achieved its earnings target of $500 million per annum six months ahead of schedule. The Group said it’s still working to finalise improvements to the Frequent Flyer program that will represent a significant investment for members, with the aim of announcing them by April.

“I want to thank our customers and our partners for their support as we keep working to make the Qantas Group an organisation that everyone is proud of. We need to deliver a service that is consistently better in order to succeed long term, and that’s what we’re focused on,” Hudson said.