The Lufthansa Group increased operating profit in the first nine months of the year by 57
per cent to 1.1 billion euros. Neither the high oil price, nor the turmoil on the
international financial markets during the past months and the hard-fought competition have
had any negative impact on the business of the Lufthansa Group. "We expect an operating
result around 1.3 billion euros for the full year", announced Lufthansa Chairman and CEO
Wolfgang Mayrhuber when presenting the third quarter figures. That would represent a new
record in terms of profit for the Lufthansa Group. "The result provides us with a solid
foundation to strengthen our position against the competition and precisely that is our aim",
added Mayrhuber. "We want to make Lufthansa even more valuable to our shareholders and more
attractive for our customers."
The success in the third quarter was again marked by positive results in all of the business
segments. The business segments continue to implement the Group’s strategy with a clear
orientation towards profitability and the respective core competences. In the Group’s key
business segment, Passenger Airlines, SWISS has been fully consolidated in the Group accounts
as of July this year and like the Lufthansa passenger airlines, the Swiss airline is poised
for growth. The Group’s airlines have ordered some 170 new aircraft valued at a list price of
around 14 billion euros. This represents an essential contribution to environmental
protection pointed out Mayrhuber adding that, "fuel-efficient aircraft and modern,
environmentally sound technology remain our trademark and we intend to continue setting the
standards in this regard."
Lufthansa to extend industry leadership
Mayrhuber made it clear that the focus in the future would continue to remain on sustainable
and profitable growth. "We definitely won’t be resting on our laurels as we are aware that if
we are not moving forwards then we are moving backwards. If you want to take off you need
lift and less weight and if you want to move forwards you need thrust. We intend to increase
both. We want to focus on our customers and manage the costs. We have a feel for new markets.
Now we want to improve efficiency and prepare ourselves for the future. You may rest assured
that we are thinking far beyond the quarterly and yearly results."
The Group initiative, "Upgrade to Industry Leadership", will represent the key element of
the Group’s formula for success. "We want to consolidate and extend our leadership in the
industry," stressed the Lufthansa Chairman, explaining that "this will require change."
Lufthansa wants to increase innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and actions.
Inefficiencies have to be eliminated. "It is not only about the large-scale solutions, but
about every little detail. We want everyone in the Group to assess whether or not they are
offering the very best in terms of their work, their product and their service."
Wolfgang Mayrhuber stressed in Frankfurt that, the Group was reliant on an efficient,
demand-driven and cost-effective infrastructure, stating that this was a prerequisite and
essential factor for the company’s growth. After all, the Lufthansa Group is investing around
one billion euros in the Rhine Main region in buildings and facilities alone. Against this
background, the Lufthansa Chairman and CEO again called for reason and for a practicable
night-flying policy in Frankfurt. "A total ban on night flights would be fatal for the entire
region. Freight and passenger traffic would be diverted from Frankfurt to other foreign hubs
and thousands of jobs would be endangered."
Third-quarter figures 2007
During the first nine months of 2007, the Lufthansa Group generated revenues totalling 16.4
billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 9.3 per cent. During this period, traffic revenue
rose to 12.7 billion euros, which was equivalent to a rise of 9.8 per cent. The figures for
the third quarter also include the first time consolidation in the Group accounts of SWISS
International Airlines for the July to September period. The effects of consolidation, as
well as a continued increase in passenger figures, were the decisive factors for the
improvement. The Group’s operating income increased by altogether 9.7 per cent to 17.5
Operating expenses rose by 7.6 per cent to 16.3 billion euros, which was proportionately
lower than the level of growth and mainly due to the expansion of the offer and the
consolidation effects. Lufthansa recorded an operating result of 1.1 billion euros after the
third quarter, equivalent to an increase of 57 per cent in comparison with the same period
the previous year. The Group was able to increase the financial result, which had been on par
a year earlier, to 60 million euros. Due to the one-off effect of the German corporate tax
reform passed in July, the Group recognized a one-time reduction in expected tax expenditure
of 211 million euros. This and the 503 million euros of profit from the sale of the shares in
Thomas Cook lifted the Group result to 1.6 billion euros (previous year: 414 million euros).
The Group’s capital expenditure during the first nine months of the year totalled 925
million euros, of which 885 million euros was invested in the purchase of new aircraft.
Operating cash flow totalled two billion euros. On 30 September 2007, the net liquidity of
the Lufthansa Group totalled 1.6 billion euros.