News Column

Lufthansa Shares Down After Profits Fall

August 2, 2013

Shares in Lufthansa dropped more than 4 per cent Friday after high restructuring costs and a decline in demand led to the German flag carrier posting a sharp fall in first-half profit.

Operating profit fell almost 70 per cent, to 72 million euros (95.1 million dollars), in the six months to the end of June from 235 million in the same period last year, the Cologne-based airline said.

"The restructuring of the Lufthansa group is gaining speed," finance chief Simone Menne said.

The airline is at present rolling out a cost-cutting programme, codenamed SCORE, aimed at slashing its workforce by 3,500 and developing a low-cost airline operation.

The group expects its restructuring plans will help to produce a full-year operating profit of 2.3 billion euros in 2015.

"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," Menne said.

The group also said that Europe's protracted winter had hit demand during the first half, in particular from the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

It posted a net loss of 204 million euros in the first half compared with a net profit of 50 million in the same period last year. Total revenue slipped 0.3 per cent to 14.5 billion euros.

The group reaffirmed its outlook for the year of higher sales and operating profit.

But investors were disappointed by the results. Lufthansa shares fell 4.1 per cent to 14.80 euros in early trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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