25 Aug 2011

Qantas profit not enough to cover new planes - CEO

7:30 am on 25 August 2011

Qantas has more than doubled its full-year profit, but says it's not enough to cover the soaring cost of new planes.

The airline reported a profit of $A250 million, despite natural disasters wiping $A224 million from its result.

Underlying profit was more than $A550 million, but chief executive Alan Joyce says that's well short of where it needs to be to justify shareholders' investment.

He says Qantas is spending roughly $A2.5 billion in the last two years on its fleet.

Fund manager Roger Montgomery agrees Qantas currently does not offer anywhere near a competitive investment return.

He says this is basing the cost of running the planes on what was paid for them 20 years ago, but the new planes are significantly more expensive.

Mr Montgomery says the profit and loss statement does not account for that additional expense to replace those planes and Qantas' economic profit would be much lower than its accounting profit and would actually be a significant loss.

Last week, Qantas announced it would cut 1000 jobs in Australia and expand into the Asian market.