David Stuart

Qantas posts profit recovery after year of huge cost cuts

THE nation's biggest airline has posted a marked turnaround in its fortunes, reporting a $206 million profit after tax on Thursday.

In its half-yearly financial results, Qantas also reported a significant $367 million underlying profit before tax for the six months to December last year.

The return to profit follows the airline's poor $2.8 billion loss reported in the 2013-14 full-year results.

Those results came as Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce began a controversial $2 billion cost-cutting exercise, which seems to helped turn around the airline's fortunes.

Changes involved in the company's "transformation" program included cutting 5000 jobs, while lower fuel prices, reduced depreciation and "increased revenue per available seat kilometre" were instrumental in driving profits during the six months to December.

Mr Joyce said it was clear that without the changes the airline would not have been able to announce a profit on Thursday.

He said the company's employees had worked hard on the program and "deserve great credit for this result".