The Qantas Group has continued to navigate the impacts of the COVID crisis as it positions the company for recovery and balance sheet repair.
In the six month period – which covered Victoria’s extended lockdown and nationwide border closures – the Group managed to limit a $6.9 billion drop in revenue into a $1.03 billion Underlying Loss Before Tax.
The Group generated Underlying EBITDA of $86 million, reflecting the fundamental resilience of the portfolio.
The Group’s Statutory Loss Before Tax was $1.47 billion. This included further redundancy and restructuring costs of $284 million (in addition to the $642 million provided for in FY20) and a further $71 million writedown of the A380 fleet in-line with its Australian dollar market value.
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Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “These figures are stark but not surprising.
“During the half we saw the second wave in Victoria and the strictest domestic travel restrictions since the pandemic began. Virtually all of our international flying and 70 per cent of domestic flying stopped, and with it went three-quarters of our revenue.
“Despite the huge challenges, these results show the Group’s underlying strength.
“When we had the opportunity to fly domestically, we saw significant pent up travel demand and generated positive cash flow.
“Qantas Loyalty still had significant income because the program has evolved to the stage where the vast majority of points are earned from activity on the ground.
Qantas Freight had a record result and has been a natural hedge to the lack of international passenger flying, which has created a shortage of cargo space globally.
“These factors couldn’t overcome the massive impact of this crisis, but they have softened it.
“We’ve maintained a high level of liquidity because we were quick to cut costs and because we’ve been able to raise debt and equity. This gives us the breathing room to deal with the levels of uncertainty we’re still facing, and funding for the restructuring that will ultimately speed up our recovery.
“Our priorities remain the safety of everyone who travels with us, getting as many of our people back to work as possible and generating positive cash flow to repair our balance sheet.
“The COVID vaccine rollout in Australia will take time, but the fact it’s underway gives us more certainty. More certainty that domestic borders can stay open because frontline and quarantine workers will be vaccinated in a matter of weeks. And more certainty that international borders can open when the nationwide rollout is effectively complete by the end of October.”