The Qantas Group has announced preliminary trading for the first quarter of the financial year 2017.
There is a three per cent decline in revenue, which comes as a consequence of of increased competition on international routes, as well as subdued domestic demand in the first two months of the year.
Continued cost improvement was yielded by the Qantas Transformation program and lower fuel prices were secured through hedging, which mean that the group expects to deliver somewhere in the region of $800 million to $850 million in first half underlying profit before tax.
This would represent the third best first half result in the history of the national carrier.
Group revenue for the three month period ending September 30th of $3.98 billion as slightly down compared to the corresponding revenue of $4.11 billion in the first quarter of the 2016 financial year.
Unit revenue in the quarter was lower than it was in the prior corresponding period with a decrease of 5.5 per cent - but this was consistent with guidance provided at the group's 2016 full-year results.
The number of passengers carried grew by 2.5 per cent to 13.2 million, which was largely driven by group activity growth of 2.2 per cent.
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group chief executive officer, said that these results have positioned his organisation to deliver a strong first half result in 2017.
"Like most carriers globally, we are seeing international air fares below where they were 12 months ago, but the impact of that is tempered by the competitive advantages we've been working hard to fortify including our strong domestic position and diversified loyalty business," he commented.
"We will continue to invest in building the group's long term competitive advantages, including our brand, customer service and product."