Qantas profit doubles
Qantas Airways Ltd, Australia’s largest carrier, said first-half profit more than doubled after it took cash from canceling orders for Boeing Co 787 jets and cut losses on long-haul routes. The shares hit a 10-month high. Net income rose to A$111 million (US$114 million) in the six months that ended on Dec. 31 last year from A$42 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based carrier said in a statement yesterday. Profit before tax and one-time items at A$223 million beat the A$212 million median of four analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Qantas reduced losses at its international unit by 65 percent after dropping unprofitable routes and retiring older planes amid a battle with Middle East and Asian carriers on long-haul services. An alliance with Emirates on overseas flights, due to begin April 1, will be a “killer combination,” chief executive officer Alan Joyce said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The loss on international routes in the first half narrowed to A$91 million from A$262 million a year earlier, the company said.
Boeing ready with answers
US aerospace giant Boeing is today set to propose repairs to the battery problems in its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets that could have them fly again within two months, the New York Times said yesterday. The Times, citing industry and US federal officials, said Boeing has narrowed down the ways in which the lithium-ion batteries could fail, concluding that they would be safe to use after making changes such as adding insulation between the battery cells. Boeing commercial airplane division chief Raymond Corner plans to announce his plans in a meeting with the head of the US Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, the newspaper said. The meeting is set to launch a “high-level discussion” on the standards Boeing must meet in order to have its planes back in flight, the paper said. Federal officials said the aircraft could be back in the air by April “if the fixes check out,” the paper said.
IBM prioritizing mobile
International Business Machines Corp (IBM), the world’s biggest computer-services provider, will double its investment in mobile technology this year, not including acquisitions it could make in the industry. Chief executive officer Ginni Rometty will move employees and resources to mobile technology as part of the investment, said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of middleware software at IBM. Rometty is prioritizing mobile as much as some of the company’s more high-profile initiatives, like cloud computing and business data analysis, he said. “If you talked to Ginni and asked her what the key growth plays are for IBM, she would tell you mobility is one of them,” LeBlanc said in an interview. “We’re moving some of our skill and resources into mobility as a growth play.”
Allianz doubles net profit
German insurance giant Allianz yesterday said its net profit more than doubled last year. Allianz said in a statement its net profit amounted to 5.169 billion euros (US$6.8 billion) last year, up from 2.545 billion euros a year earlier. The 2011 figure had been impacted by writedowns on Allianz’s holdings in Greek sovereign debt and investments, the insurer said. However, underlying or operating profit also increased, rising by 20.8 percent to 9.5 billion euros on a 2.7 percent rise in revenues to 106.4 billion euros. All divisions achieved double-digit percentage growth in operating profit, Allianz said.