Fleet cuts inflate Lufthansa's Q1 loss

This story is sourced from Pro
See more Pro news »

Lufthansa Group's first-quarter net loss worsened by 16.5% to €459 million ($604 million), despite revenues staying stable at €6.6 billion.

Earnings before interest and tax were negative to the tune of €497 million, a deficit 25% higher than in 2012's first quarter. But the operating loss was unchanged at €359 million, despite restructuring costs of around €64 million arising from the "SCORE" efficiency programme.

"Impairment losses and other valuations as of the reporting date" are blamed by Lufthansa for the deteriorating net result. The carrier slashed capacity by withdrawing four Airbus A340-300s, eight Boeing 737s and four Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets from its fleet. This increased impairment losses by two thirds, to €75 million.

Lufthansa's passenger arm - which includes the low-cost subsidiary Germanwings - cut its operating loss by nearly 21%, to €292 million, while sister carrier Austrian Airlines narrowed its operating loss by 16%, to €56 million.

But Swiss International Air Lines' operating loss grew fivefold to €16 million.

The group's logistics division, which includes Lufthansa Cargo, improved earnings by 35% to €27 million. This is mainly due to better capacity management through lower aircraft utilisation and declining impairment losses, says the airline.

MRO branch Lufthansa Technik boosted earnings by a quarter, to €81 million, while the catering unit LSG Sky Chefs reversed a €6 million operating loss in 2012's first quarter to turn a €3 million profit.

Earnings at IT division Lufthansa Systems declined by a quarter to €3 million.

There was a huge increase in operating losses from "other" activities, which reached €103 million, versus €5 million for the first three months of 2012. This segment includes subsidiaries for financial and service activities, the airline's flight training academy, and corporate travel payment specialist AirPlus.

Lufthansa expects its 2013 operating profit to exceed the 2012 figure of €524 million.