Lufthansa Posts Profit for First Half of Year


Lufthansa is sticking to its forecast of making an operating profit in 2009, despite a flight from premium class leading to a mixed set of first half figures.

The German airline posted an operating profit of $11.2 million for the first six months of 2009. It also made a net profit of $56.2 million in the second quarter alone, down 88.1 percent from a year earlier but ahead of analyst forecasts of a $25 million loss.

Sales fell 19.4 percent to $7.3 billion in the second quarter, worse than the 14 percent drop expected while operating profit came to $73 million, down almost 90 percent. The airline carried 33.2 million passengers in the first six months of 2009, a decrease of 4.8 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Lufthansa’s freight division suffered as well, with a 20 percent drop in first-half traffic.

Finance director Stephan Gemkow added that the airline planned to cut costs in its passenger division by $1.4 billion by 2012.

The airline’s cost-cutting program includes axing around 400 administrative posts in its passenger division.