Lufthansa defies recent warning with €1bn profit forecast

Lufthansa defies recent warning with €1bn profit forecastLufthansa reported a rise in operating profit in half-year results released this morning after posting a profit warning in June and forecast a full-year profit of €1 billion.

The German airline group posted an operating profit of €114 million for the six months to June, up €41 million on a year ago, although it reported a net loss of €79 million.

Lufthansa said “competitive pressures on fares” and a recent strike by pilots “depressed second-quarter results”. The strike cost the airline €60 million.

The group said it would slow capacity growth for the winter and “go on the offensive with new innovation and quality drives”.

Revenue for the half year was down 2.1% to €14.2 billion.

Lufthansa confirmed its previous profit guidance for the full year despite “adverse developments in the second quarter”.

It reported overcapacity “on North and South American services, on European routes and, more recently, on Asia-Pacific routes”.

Lufthansa said it had already responded to declines in passenger and cargo revenues by cutting capacity growth from 5% to 3%.

The group’s passenger operations saw a €96 million operating loss in the six months, up from €32 million last year.

Lufthansa and subsidiary Germanwings reported first-half operating losses of €146 million and Austrian Airlines a loss of €44 million, but Swiss an operating profit of €92 million – up €29 million on the previous year.

Lufthansa said it expected markets “to remain weak in the second half of 2014”.

“For 2014 as a whole, the group remains confident of posting an operating profit of around €1 billion, and for 2015 an operating profit of around €2 billion.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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