Increase in custom from Lufthansa's airline affiliates helped its maintenance arm, Lufthansa Technik, to grow its revenues and profit in 2009.

Revenues grew 6.6% to €4 billion ($5.4 billion), with Lufthansa Group airlines accounting for €1.7 billion of revenue, an increase of 11% on 2008. Revenues from external customers grew 3.7% to €2.3 billion.

External customers' share of Lufthansa Technik's revenues consequently declined from 59.6% to 58%. Lufthansa's passenger airlines division accounted for 34.5% of the revenues, and other airlines within the group for 7.5%.

Finance chief Peter Jansen says Lufthansa Technik aims to grow the share of revenues from other carriers to 70%.

Lufthansa Technik achieved an operating profit of €316 million in 2009, a rise of 5.7% on 2008. This came despite personnel costs increasing by 4.9% to €1.06 billion, reflecting an expanding work force and the integration of Lufthansa Technik Switzerland. Operating margin contracted by half a point to 8.3%.

Over the course of 2009 the company gained 40 new customers, bringing the total to 691, and signed 456 contracts, which together contributed €493 million to the year's revenue total.

Lufthansa Technik says its market share grew by about one percentage point to 16%.

This year has so far brought declines in capacity utilisation, necessitating greater use of flexible working time arrangements, says chief executive August Henningsen.

Jansen says that it would be "ambitious" to expect 2010's results to match those of 2009, but adds: "We could just about make it."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news