Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a much more modest net profit of €390 million.
The German carrier’s operating profit in the three months from July through September climbed to €783 million, a gain of €565 million on the year.
“The good result is the consequence of the increasingly positive development of demand in passenger and freight traffic,” a Lufthansa statement said.
It also pointed to “success of the cost-cutting programmes in all of the business segments, as well as of the realized synergy potentials in the airline group.”
Lufthansa also owns Austrian Airlines, the British carrier BMI, Germanwings and Swiss Airlines. On Wednesday, Lufthansa posted a nine-month net profit of €524 million, up from just €31 million a year earlier despite a pilot strike in February, and raised its outlook for 2010 operating profit.
It now forecasts a result of more than €800 million, well above the previous outlook for an improvement on the 2009 figure of €130 million.
“Following the extreme winter, pilot’s strike and airspace lockdowns, which all burdened the result and led to an operating loss after the first six months, the group has gone on to record an operating profit of €612 million for the first nine months of the year,” the statement said.
That represented a gain of around €386 million from the first nine months of 2009, it added.
Lufthansa chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber said: “The Lufthansa group has successfully flown through the economic and financial crisis.
“The good result is the consequence of a targeted and determined reaction, and a remarkable team performance.”