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Lufthansa warns of lower operating profit in 2012

March 15, 2012, Berlin, Ger. - German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG warned of lower profits this year as high fuel prices and economic uncertainties weigh on earnings, the company said Thursday.


March 15, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

The company's operating profit is expected to slide from C820 million ($1.1 billion) in 2011 to a "mid three-figure million euro range'' in 2012, it said.

Lufthansa noted that "the implementation of austerity plans in the overly indebted countries of the European Union raises the danger of an overall economic weakening and further receding growth in Europe.''

The cautious forecast came as Lufthansa presented its full-year report, a week after announcing it posted a 2011 net loss of C13 million because of costs at its troubled British Midland International subsidiary.

Lufthansa has agreed to sell the lossmaking airline to British Airways' parent company, International Airlines Group. The deal has yet to receive regulatory approval.

Lufthansa's 2011 revenue rose 8 per cent to C28.7 billion.

Higher fuel costs and new air traffic taxes in Germany and Austria caused contribution of Lufthansa's passenger business to the company's overall 2011 operating profit to fall by 44.5 per cent from C629 million to C361 million because of .

Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines' revenue stayed flat at just more than C2 billion and it registered another full-year operating loss, this year of C62 million.

The Cologne-based company's subsidiary Swiss Air, in turn, saw revenues climb by 14 per cent to C4 billion in 2011, while operating profit fell slightly from C298 million to C259 million.

Lufthansa also holds stakes in Brussels Airlines and JetBlue of the United States.

Separate fourth-quarter figures were not immediately available.