Lufthansa Cargo's first half operating profit increased 27 per cent compared to the same period last year to EUR61 million (US$81.3 million), which the company attributed to better capacity management and lower depreciation and amortisation, according to the Shipping Gazette.
The strong growth came despite a 3.5 per cent year-on-year decrease in freight and mail volumes to 839,000 tonnes and a 9.9 per cent drop in revenue to EUR1.2 billion.
"The first half of 2013 was characterised by continuing restrained demand on global freight markets," said the German airline statement.
But "thanks to flexible and demand-led capacity management," the cargo load factor grew 0.9 percentage points to 70 per cent due to a 2.8 per cent decline in revenue cargo tonne kilometres, a 3.9 per cent reduction in capacity.
The greatest fall in cargo volumes was recorded in the Asia-Pacific region, where cargo tonnage dropped by six per cent.
"As a result of successful capacity management, the cargo load factor in this traffic region improved substantially due to a considerable reduction in capacity."
The cargo load factor for Europe improved on the back of capacity cuts, while in the Americas cargo volume fell by 4.2 per cent compared to the first half of 2012.
The load factor in the Middle East/Africa region dipped slightly on the back of a capacity increase of 2.4 per cent and sales growth of just 1.8 per cent, in spite of higher cargo volumes.
"Lufthansa Cargo still expects demand to recover appreciably and tonnage to increase again in the second half of the year," the group said.