In the first nine months of 2007 the Lufthansa Group generated revenue of EUR 16.4bn up on the previous year’s EUR 15.0bn.The operating result climbed to EUR 1,085m (previous year: EUR 691m) after a very successful period of business. SWISS, which has been fully consolidated since July 2007, made a contribution of EUR 90m to the operating result for the third quarter. Net profit reached a record high of EUR 1,578m (previous year: EUR 414m). This reflects positive operating developments at Lufthansa and SWISS, income from portfolio management and a one-off reduction in the deferred tax liabilities (EUR 211m) reflected in the profit and loss account. Lufthansa expects the good operating development to continue and based on current economic conditions still anticipates an operating result for the full year of around EUR 1.3bn.
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.”