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Qantas forecasts record annual revenue

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Australia's Qantas Airways yesterday posted a small rise in third-quarter revenue as more people travelled for leisure, and forecast record annual revenue, sending its shares up as much as 4 per cent. The country's largest airline said group revenue rose 2.3 per cent to A$4.4 billion (S$4.2 billion) for the quarter ended March 31. It said it was expected to be at "a record level" and added its international business continued to improve.

"The long-term fleet and network changes we've made are delivering revenue growth, and total market capacity in the fourth quarter is contracting in response to higher fuel prices," chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.

The Australian domestic aviation market is largely a duopoly of Qantas and smaller rival Virgin Australia, both of which have increased fares and boosted domestic earnings by keeping a lid on capacity. Qantas is expected by analysts on average to report revenue of A$18.03 billion for the year ending June 30, up 5.6 per cent, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv. It posted record revenue last fiscal year as well, when it rose 6.2 per cent to A$17.06 billion.- REUTERS