Qantas profits soar nearly 15% despite rising fuel costs

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Qantas planes on tarmacImage source, Getty Images

Australia's national airline has posted a 15% jump in annual net profit with healthy returns across its business, despite a rise in the price of fuel.

Net profit rose to $A980m ($719m; £557m) in the year to the end of June, up from $A852m.

Qantas put the results down to strong demand for domestic travel, as well as efforts to improve its business.

An aggressive restructure recently has seen jobs slashed, its fleet reduced and the cutting of loss-making routes.

Those measures saw Australia's biggest airline deliver its second highest profit in its 97-year history last year.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said this year's numbers "show a company that's delivering across the board".

The biggest contributor to the rise in profits was strong demand for domestic travel, but international travel also saw a 7% increase.

Mr Joyce said healthy demand across key sectors matched with improving levels of capacity was a positive sign for the year ahead.

The upbeat outlook comes despite expectations that fuel costs will rise further in 2019.

"We're confident that we will substantially recover this through a range of capacity, revenue and cost efficiency measures," Mr Joyce said.

A strong result was largely expected after Qantas reported a bumper 17.9% jump in interim net profit in February.