Lufthansa eyes improving revenue trends but sticks to profit goal

German airline sticks to profit target to earn more than 2016 total of €1.75 billion

Lufthansa has agreed a deal to buy large parts of insolvent local rival Air Berlin and has submitted an offer for some of struggling carrier Alitalia’s operations. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Lufthansa has agreed a deal to buy large parts of insolvent local rival Air Berlin and has submitted an offer for some of struggling carrier Alitalia’s operations. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

 

German airline Lufthansa gave a more upbeat assessment of revenue trends to the end of the year, with the carrier benefiting from solid passenger demand and poised to swoop on struggling rivals.

While this summer has seen Air Berlin and Monarch collapse due to tough competition, Europe’s major carriers have enjoyed strong demand and improving price trends.

However, despite posting record nine-month results on Wednesday, Lufthansa stuck to its profit target for the year to earn more than the 2016 total of €1.75 billion.

Lufthansa said it expected unit revenue, a measure of pricing, to rise slightly in the fourth quarter after a 4.5 per cent increase in the third quarter. It previously predicted a drop in unit revenue for the second half.

Analysts on average expect Lufthansa to report 2017 adjusted earnings before interest and tax (ebit) of €2.6 billion. Its shares, which have more than doubled this year to highs last seen in 2001, were indicated down 3.4 per cent.

Lufthansa’s third-quarter adjusted ebit rose 32 per cent to €1.518 billion, slightly ahead of a Reuters poll forecast for €1.502 billion.

Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr said the result “gives us the investment and growth capabilities we need to play an active part in the consolidation of the European airline market, and to continue to invest in the future of our company”.

Lufthansa has agreed a deal to buy large parts of insolvent local rival Air Berlin and has submitted an offer for some of struggling carrier Alitalia’s operations. – (Reuters)

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