Lufthansa cuts 2015 forecast on global economic slowdown

[FRANKFURT] Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline, on Thursday cut its profit forecast for 2015 in face of the global economic slowdown.

"When we look ahead, we can see that the economic slowdown and the continuing declines in our passenger yields in the face of fierce competition will affect our operating scope in the year ahead," said chief executive Carsten Spohr.

"This is why we need to modify our projections for 2015, even though we expect it to produce an operating result that is significantly above this year's," Mr Spohr said.

Previously, Lufthansa had been pencilling in operating profit of around 2.0 billion euros (US$2.5 billion) for next year and 1.0 billion euros for this year.

For the current year, the airline said it "remains confident of achieving its profit targets for 2014 - despite experiencing a difficult third quarter, and despite strike action eroding 170 million euros from its earnings."

Lufthansa said it expects to post operating profit of around 1.0 billion euros for the year, "excluding the impact of any further strike action between now and year-end." The airline has been hit by industrial action by its pilots, who have staged nine walk-outs since April over plans to raise the age at which they are able to take early retirement.

The last stoppage was a two-day strike last week.

In the third quarter alone, Lufthansa said it booked a 24.7-per cent rise in net profit to 561 million euros.

Operating profit was up 24.6 per cent at 735 million euros and revenues edged up by 1.9 per cent to 8.458 billion euros in the July-September, Lufthansa said.


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