Lufthansa posts €72m operating profit but heavy net loss

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Lufthansa Group has reconfirmed its profit guidance for 2013 after reporting a €72 million ($95 million) operating profit during the first six months, saying that its restructuring efforts are "gaining speed".

The German airline group says its operating result for the first half of 2013 rose by €233 million after adjusting for restructuring costs and one-off effects.

The first-half net result fell from a €50 million profit in 2012 to €204 million loss this year. Lufthansa says that 2012's result was affected by "positive one-off effects" which included the transfer of operations from Austrian to Tyrolean Airways.

Year-on-year revenues declined by 0.3% to €14.5 billion, but Lufthansa expects to see growth for the full year.

The Star Alliance carrier explains that the operating profit decline to €72 million from €235 million was partly due to the 2012 result including positive one-off effects from the restructuring of Austrian Airlines and the settlement of pension obligations at BMI, which totalled €325 million.

"Expenses in connection with the Score [restructuring] programme also depressed earnings of the past six months further on a one-off basis," it adds.

Lufthansa's airline division accounts for the bulk of the group's revenue, saw a substantial increase in its operating result over the first six months from a €268 million loss last year to a €91 million loss this year.

The group's traffic revenue declined by 0.6% to €11.8 billion and the passenger airline arm recorded an operating loss of €64 million, compared with a profit of €73 million last year.

Swiss International Air Lines' operating profit rose to €63 million over the first six months from €54 million last year. Austrian, which was profitable last year, reported a €35 million loss. Lufthansa says this was mainly caused by one-off effects from transferring flight operations to Tyrolean.

"The restructuring of the Lufthansa Group is gaining speed," says Lufthansa's chief financial officer Simone Menne. "Implementation of the steps adopted in various Score projects is going to plan and is enabling the Lufthansa Group to take key decisions for the future. Without the one-off effects, the group's operating profit would have been higher than in the first half of last year."

Lufthansa has reconfirmed its full year forecast, with group revenue expected to rise and the operating result ahead of last year's €524 million. "Implementation of the Score measures should boost earnings sustainably," it adds.