Qantas reports massive $250 million loss: Midday roundup

Qantas has recorded a massive loss of $245 million in the year to June 30, after recording a loss of $249 million in 2011.

The report is worse than analysts had feared. It also comes as the company said it will cancel a large order of 787 aircraft as part of its turnaround plan.

The company said in a statement it couldn’t provide any forecast for profit due to volatile global conditions and exchange rates.

“Group capacity is expected to increase by 3% to 4% in the first half of 2012/2013 compared to the first half of 2011/2012, while maintaining flexibility.”

While the company has maintained a significant hold in the domestic market, its international business is suffering.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the decision to cancel aircraft was due to “lower growth requirements in this uncertain global context”.

“With lower capital requirements and substantial liquidity, we are now turning our attention toward debt reduction to strengthen the balance sheet,” he said.

Fairfax records $2.7 billion loss

Media giant Fairfax has recorded a $2.7 billion loss and says early revenues are coming in 10% below last year.

The company’s shares have fallen 3.5% to just 54 cents this morning after the news.

For the 12 months to June 30, Fairfax recorded a loss of $2.7 billion. Revenue fell to $2.33 billion from $2.5 billion.

The result is a mark against the company’s dramatic restructuring plan and is unlikely to bring confidence to an already nervous investor base.

“Ongoing structural changes continue to affect our metro media business,” the group said.

“Early FY13 revenues are tracking 10% below the prior year. Difficult trading conditions are likely to continue.”

Chief executive Greg Hywood said he would give up half his business due to the current conditions.

David Jones says conditions still challenging

Trading conditions remain “challenging” according to David Jones after the department store reported a decline in sales for 2012 and confirmed previous guidance of a sharp fall in profit for the year.

Sales in the 12 months to June 30 totalled $1.868 billion, down 4.6% from the previous corresponding period, while like-for-like sales fell 4.3% from the previous year.

Meanwhile, sales for the fourth quarter showed $455.8 million, 1.3% lower than the previous corresponding period.

“While trading conditions continued to be challenging throughout the quarter, we did see an improvement on our sales tracking,” David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra said.

“In the quarter we decreased the duration of our Winter Clearance by two weeks.

“This is consistent with our strategy to reduce the length of our discount events and to focus on new inventory.”

Stockmarket opens higher

The Australian stock market has opened higher following Wall Street overnight, after the US Federal Reserve said it was close to taking action to boost the economy.

At the market opening the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.39% to 4392.90 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 0.37% to 4419.00 points.

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