Lufthansa said high fuel costs triggered a bigger than expected first-quarter loss and forecast it might only hit its profit target if costs from a new restructuring plan were excluded.
The operating loss for the first three months of the year more than doubled to EUR€381 million (USD$501.1 million) from EUR€169 million a year earlier, the company said on Wednesday.
Lufthansa, which is due to publish its full earnings report on Thursday, has vowed to make tough cost cuts and restructure its loss-making Austrian Airlines unit to return to profit amid economic uncertainty and high fuel prices.
The carrier said in March it saw its fuel costs jumping by almost 20 percent this year, to EUR€7.5 billion, which would eat away about a quarter of annual revenues.
It aims to improve results by EUR€1.5 billion by the end of 2014 to cope with high fuel prices, a weak European economy and fierce competition from low-cost carriers and Middle East airlines.
Lufthansa said it still sees 2012 operating profit declining to a figure in the mid-hundreds of millions of euros amid an improvement in revenues over last year, adding its outlook excluded possible costs related to its cost-cutting.
Lufthansa said its first-quarter net loss narrowed to EUR€397 million from EUR€507 million. Revenues were up 5.6 percent at EUR€6.6 billion.
Gravity always wins!