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PACIFIC WATCH

Australia

March 21, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Profitable Qantas May Be Easier to Sell: Qantas Airways reported a healthy return to profitability last week, raising prospects that the government may sell its 75% stake in the airline this year. The national carrier reported a net profit of $50.8 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, contrasted with a loss of $259.5 million in the first half of the 1993 fiscal year. Analysts expect the government to raise more than $1.42 billion from the sale of its stake, based on a net profit for the airline of $106.5 million in 1993-94 and a net profit forecast of $177.5 million in 1994-95. British Airways has a 25% stake in the carrier.

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