The airline – which has gone through a major cost-cutting restructuring program that saw thousands of jobs lost – also unveiled a $75 million cash bonus to be shared among its remaining 25,000 employees. Full-time staff will get a $3000 bonus, while part-time employees will receive $2500.
Of the $500 million capital return, $134 million will be used to pay for its seven-cents-a-share final dividend, with the remainder to go to an on-market share buyback.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said it was the first dividend Qantas had paid since 2009.
“Our transformation program is paying dividends for our shareholders, our customers and our employees,” he said today.
Joyce said the company expected the strong financial performance to continue in the first-half to December 31, despite the competitive revenue environment.
The carrier’s underlying profit before tax – a key figure tracked by the airline analysts – jumped 57 per cent to $1.53 billion for the year to June 30, its best result in its 95-year history.
The results were driven by strong performances across the board, cost savings, and a gain of $664 million on the back of lower global fuel prices.
In total, the airline’s transformation program had now “unlocked $1.66 billion in permanent cost and revenue benefits”, Joyce said.
In other results announced today, Wesfamers’ full-year profit dropped 83.3 per cent to $407 million after it wrote down the value of its Target department stores and Curragh coal mine by $2.2 billion. Earnings for Coles supermarkets grew 4.3 per cent to $1.86 billion, while earnings from the Bunnings hardware chain increased 11.6 per cent on revenue growth of 21.4 per cent, with the newly acquired UK Homebase stores contributing from February 28.
Westfield Corporation’s half-year profit is up 5.4 per cent to $645 million, Bega Cheese has more than doubled its full-year profit to $28.8 million, discount retailer The Reject Shop’s full-year profits rose 20 per cent to $17.1 million on the back of climbing sales, and Building materials company Boral posted a flat full-year profit of $256 million.
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