Qantas reports 88-per cent profit slump; but not yet in red

Australia's national carrier Qantas Airlines on Wednesday posted an 88 per cent drop in annual net profit to $96.6 million and unveiled a massive cost-cutting plan to counter the financial beating it is taking.

The carrier, which also recorded its first half-year loss in six years, blamed the worse-than-expected result on weaker domestic and international demand for travel during the global financial crisis.

The airline vowed to slash $1.24 billion of expenditure over the next three years in a bid to boost its bottomline, but declined to say whether it would remain profitable over the next year.

"There has never been a more volatile and challenging time for the world's aviation industry," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

Qantas posted a net profit after tax of 117 million Australian dollars ($96.6 million) for the year to June 30, down 88 percent from Australian $969 million a year earlier. It lost $93 million dollars in the six months to June.

The airline's profit before tax dropped 87 per cent to 181 million Australian dollars ($149.5 million) from $1.41 billion a year earlier.