Australian national carrier Qantas has unveiled an 87.9 per cent profit slump for the past year, saying it will now try to cut costs by $A1.5 billion over the next three years.

The cost reduction program, called 'Q Future', will try to cut $A500 million in the current financial year.

The airline's sales for the 12 months to June 30 fell 6.9 per cent to A$14.55 billion.

The company said no final dividend would be paid for the 2008/09 year. Qantas did pay an interim dividend of six cents per share.

"Q Future will focus on Qantas operations and improving efficiencies across a range of areas, including sales and distribution, fuel conservation, aircraft utilisation and schedule, and procurement," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

"We are also keeping a close watch on oil and fuel prices.

"While well below the record levels seen in 2008, they remain volatile and are trending upwards.

In relation to outlook, Qantas said that there were signs of an improvement in passenger volumes.

Yields had also stabilised at the levels experienced in the second half of the 2009 financial year.

"High levels of volatility in the economic outlook, industry capacity, passenger demand, fuel prices and exchange rates continue," the company said.

"Given the high level of uncertainty, it is not possible to provide any profit guidance."

The airline said that under present circumstances, the board considered it prudent not to pay a final dividend.

Future dividends would be assessed against ongoing earnings performance and capital requirements.

Joyce said the diversity of the Qantas group's operations had contributed to it being one of the few airlines worldwide to produce a full year profit during the global economic downturn.

"There has never been a more volatile and challenging time for the world's aviation industry," he said.

"When most airlines are reporting losses, the Qantas group is reporting a profit for the full year.

"Through unprecedented and significant shifts in operating conditions and demand, we have remained financially strong."

Joyce said the 2008/09 year was one of two contrasting halves, with the first half characterised by a generally favourable operating environment and strong demand.

In the second half, the environment deteriorated as competitors continued to lift capacity while demand softened quickly as the global slowdown hit.

This was compounded by protracted industrial action, swine flu and costs associated with introducing the new A380 aircraft.

- AAP