Lufthansa Technik has continued to be one of the strongest performing elements of the Lufthansa Group, in contrast to the struggling airline and in-flight catering divisions, and should soon seal a major deal to overhaul Rolls-Royce Trent engines for the Airbus A380.

In 2001 sales at the maintenance division of the Lufthansa Group rose by 14% to €2.6 billion ($2.4 billion), while its operating profit grew by 60% to c88 million. Despite a competitive business environment and a consolidating industry, it expects a similar profit level for 2002, says chief financial officer Dr Peter Jansen, boosted by an increasing proportion of work for customers outside the parent group which is more profitable for Lufthansa Technik.

Further acquisitions will be considered on an opportunistic basis, but do not appear top of the agenda. For instance, in May Lufthansa Technik stepped out of the running for SR Technics, the overhaul arm of the former SAir Group. A lack of detailed information from the group's administrators during the due diligence phase, especially on its customer base and contracts, was the main reason for the pull out, says chairman of its executive board August Henningsen.

Looking ahead, Lufthansa Technik is preparing its maintenance plan for the A380s Lufthansa will begin to receive in 2007. This is likely to include it becoming the major independent maintenance provider in Europe for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900, which Lufthansa has selected to power its A380s, as well as overhauling other Trent models.

Source: Airline Business