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Lufthansa forecasts higher profits for 2010

AFP · 5 May 2010, 12:03

Published: 05 May 2010 12:03 GMT+02:00

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"The executive board of Lufthansa expects a rise in revenue and a positive operating result for the group," finance director Stephan Gemkow said in a statement that hailed stronger demand within the ailing air traffic sector.

Gemkow added however that "a recovery in demand is not enough to secure a good result, cost efficiency and increasing revenues even further are also absolute musts."

On Tuesday, Lufthansa posted a worse-than-expected first quarter loss owing to several factors, including high fuel costs and bitter winter weather. Lufthansa suffered a loss of €298 million ($386 million) in the three-month period, below the average analyst forecast of €264 million compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

The result was also worse than a loss of €267 million recorded by the carrier in the first quarter of 2009.

Europe's biggest airline by number of passengers said that integrating loss-making subsidiaries like BMI and Austria Airlines had hurt its bottom line as well, as did a one-day pilots strike in February.

Overall airline operations posted a loss of €330 million, much worse than a loss of 44 million euros in the year earlier period.

Despite the losses however, passenger and freight operations "were able to significantly improve traffic performance in the traditionally weak first quarter," the statement said.

Lufthansa sales gained €800 million to €5.8 billion in the three month period. But while that allowed the board to confirm a positive full-year forecast, it was also conditional on flight operations remaining normal in the wake of an historic disruption caused the the Icelandic volcano eruption last month.

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Other potentially negative factors included "the development of the oil price and the consolidation of BMI and Austrian Airlines, which will continue to burden the result during the current business year," the statement said.

Lufthansa's own operations posted first-quarter losses, though SWISS contributed one million euros to the group's overall result.

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Your comments about this article

14:16 May 5, 2010 by LancashireLad
Despite the loss of revenue of being completely grounded for 6 days, and probably not including what they hope to get by sueing the respective air traffic authorities (which I believe they are doing)

I wonder what they could predict if they had been allowed to fly earlier than they were?

Most impressive.
18:52 May 5, 2010 by wood artist
I was scheduled on Lufthansa at the beginning of the ash cloud debacle. Obviously they couldn't do what they weren't allowed to do, and I don't hold that against them. When I called to reschedule they were great. I doubt Dan had recently been laid, but his patience and assistance was wonderful, despite the fact that getting through was tough. I can only imagine what his days were like during that time.

I ended up flying on United, and other than the fact we had seats it was no different than the transport system used for refugees and deportees during WWII. Zero service, terrible "meals" and absolutely nothing else.

I look forward to flying back to the US on Lufthansa, where I know I'll find great service, good food (for what it is) and an all-around good flight.

11:24 May 6, 2010 by Portnoy
Lufthansa and United are both in the Star Alliance. You never know who's actually going to handle that Trans-Atlantic flight.
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