Qantas reports flat 1H earnings, to cut Asia capacity due to virus

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SYDNEY (Feb 20): Qantas Airways Ltd said on Thursday it would cut 15% of its capacity to Asia until at least the end of May due to the coronavirus outbreak after reporting flat half-year earnings in a weaker domestic aviation market.

The airline's underlying pre-tax profit, its most closely watched measure, was A$771 million ($514.87 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, down 0.5% from A$775 million a year earlier. It declared an interim dividend of 13.5 Australian cents per share fully franked, up from 12 Australian cents last year and announced an off-market buy back up to A$150 million of shares.