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Lufthansa lifts full-year forecasts after strong Q3

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German airline Lufthansa said Thursday it was raising its full-year forecasts after low oil prices and positive passenger numbers lifted profits in the third quarter.

[FRANKFURT] German airline Lufthansa said Thursday it was raising its full-year forecasts after low oil prices and positive passenger numbers lifted profits in the third quarter.

"The realignment of the Lufthansa group is now being reflected in good results. There is no question that the low oil price helped us to achieve these," said chief executive Carsten Spohr.

"But our improved earnings rest on more than this alone. We recorded outstanding passenger volumes this summer and significantly improved load factors, too," he boasted.

Lufthansa, which owns the subsidiaries Germanwings, Swiss and Austrian Airlines, said that its net profit for the period from July to September jumped by 41.5 per cent to 794 million euros (US$867 million).

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Third-quarter revenues were up 5.1 per cent at 8.939 billion euros.

Taking the first nine months, bottom-line profits soared by 262 per cent to 1.75 billion euros and revenues grew by 7.4 per cent to 24.304 billion euros.

Looking ahead, Lufthansa "is on course for a significantly improved full-year result," CEO Spohr said, but added that "we cannot expect to fly for too long with a tailwind of low oil prices." Nevertheless, Lufthansa, which had previously been pencilling in underlying operating profit of more than 1.5 billion euros for the full year, said it was now projecting a figure of between 1.75-1.95 billion euros.

AFP

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