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Virgin Australia on Friday posted an annual net loss of Aus$355.6 million (US$332 million) as intense competition led by Qantas, weak consumer sentiment and high taxes hurt its bottom line. The country's second largest carrier also announced the sale of a 35 percent stake in its frequent flyer programme to private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners, boosting its cash balance by Aus$336 million. The result was more than triple the Aus$98.1 million loss it reported in the 12 months to June 30 the previous year, and follows huge annual losses by Qantas on Thursday. The carrier, which is majority owned by Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Etihad, blamed excess market capacity, weak consumer sentiment, economic uncertainty and Aus$51.6 million in carbon tax costs for the poor numbers.