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Qantas rebounds from record $2.6 billion full-year loss to post $162 million half-year profit

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SYDNEY — Qantas Airways Ltd. on Thursday posted a 206 million Australian dollar ($162 million) profit for the first six months, rebounding from a $2.6 billion loss for the year.

Australia's largest airline said in a statement the latest profit for the six months through December was its best half-year result since 2010.

Qantas said the improvement reflected its restructuring program, reduced depreciation, increased revenue per seat, the removal of Australia's carbon tax in July last year and lower fuel prices.

PHOTO: A Qantas plane maneuvers behind another parked at a gate at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Qantas Airways Ltd. has posted a 206 million Australian dollar ($162 million) profit for the first six months since it recorded a $2.6 billion loss for the year. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
A Qantas plane maneuvers behind another parked at a gate at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Qantas Airways Ltd. has posted a 206 million Australian dollar ($162 million) profit for the first six months since it recorded a $2.6 billion loss for the year. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Qantas's struggling international business posted its first profit since before the global financial crisis in 2008. The AU$59 million profit was a AU$321 million improvement on the last half of 2013.

"The decisive factor in our best half-year result for four years was our complete focus on the Qantas transformation program," said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, referring to an AU$2 billion restructuring that will slash 5,000 jobs.

Qantas said it could give no full-year guidance due to the high degree of volatility and uncertainty in global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates.

Qantas' share price rose almost 5 percent to AU$2.95 in early trading Thursday.

Last year's result, the worst in the airline's 94-year history, included an AU$2.6 billion write down of the value of its aging international fleet of Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s.

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