Lufthansa details sector results after posting €1.3b profit

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Lufthansa Group's passenger business turned in a 12.6% fall in its operating result last year to €722 million ($921 million), as market conditions deteriorated.

The company's Swiss International Air Lines subsidiary, consolidated for the first time, accounted for €314 million.

Lufthansa has detailed the figures for its individual businesses after confirming a slight decline in its overall full-year operating result, to €1.35 billion, for 2008.

"The decline can mainly be attributed to the negative developments in the passenger transportation business segment," it says.

Swiss adds that a decline in its own revenue during the fourth quarter marks a "taste of what to expect" in 2009.

Lufthansa's maintenance division, Lufthansa Technik, turned in an improved operating result - up 2%to €299 million - although Lufthansa warns that economic slowdown normally has a delayed effect on the MRO sector.

MRO revenues were up by 4% to €3.7 billion during the year.

Freight operation Lufthansa Cargo, which has been implementing capacity cuts in the wake of deterioration in the sector, nevertheless exceeded financial targets for 2008.

Lufthansa Cargo' operating result rose more than 20% to €164 million on revenues of €2.9 billion, up 6.3%.

Catering unit LSG Sky Chefs' operating result was down 30% to €70 million while the result for IT unit Lufthansa Systems, €40 million, was up by nearly 74%.

Lufthansa Group's overall revenues reached €24.9 billion, a rise of 10.9%, including a 13.8% increase in traffic revenues to €20 billion. But operating expenses rose to €25.6 billion, mainly through the rise in fuel costs to €5.4 billion.