Lufthansa on course for record profits

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The Lufthansa Group reported another strong set of figures. In the third quarter to 30 September 2007, Group’s revenue rose 18% to €6.27bn of which passenger revenue reached €5bn. Profit from operating activities rose 25% to €570m compared to the third quarter of last year. The figures for the third quarter included for the first time those of SWISS International Airlines.

Neither the high oil price, nor the turmoil on the international financial markets during the past months and the hard-fought competition have had any negative impact on the business of the Lufthansa Group, said the group in a statement. “We expect an operating result around €1.3bn for the full year”, commented Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber. That would represent a new record in terms of profit for the Lufthansa Group.

During the first nine months of 2007, the Lufthansa Group has generated revenues totalling €16.4bn, a year-on-year increase of 9.3%. During this period, traffic revenue rose 9.8% to €12.7bn. Group’s operating income increased by 9.7% to €17.5bn. Operating expenses rose by 7.6% to €16.3bn, which was proportionately lower than the level of growth and mainly due to the expansion of the offer and the consolidation effects.

Lufthansa recorded an operating result of €1.1bn after the third quarter, equivalent to an increase of 57% over the first nine months of 2006. The Group was able to increase the financial result, which had been on par a year earlier, to €60m. Due to the one-off effect of the German corporate tax reform passed in July, the Group recognized a one-time reduction in expected tax expenditure of €211m. This and the €503m of profit from the sale of the shares in Thomas Cook lifted the Group result to €1.6bn  compared to €414m in the previous year.

Group’s capital expenditure during the first nine months of the year totalled €925m, of which €885m was invested in the purchase of new aircraft. Operating cash flow totalled €2bn.

On 30 September 2007, the net liquidity of the Lufthansa Group totalled €1.6bn.