The Lufthansa group has blamed a €1.1 billion rise in fuel costs for a drop in operating profits of more than a third in 2012.
The group, which includes Swiss, Brussels Airlines and Austrian, recorded an operating profit during the calendar year of €524 million, down 36 per cent, due mainly to the 17.8 per cent increase in fuel prices. Net profits rose from a deficit of €13 million in 2011 to €990 million due to the sale of loss-making Bmi to British Airways and the group’s stake in Amadeus.
From its passenger division, the group saw operating profit of €258 million, down 26 per cent. Overall group revenue rose almost 5 per cent to €30.1 billion.
The group has instigated a restructuring programme, Score, in order to boost profitability. During 2012, 800 cost saving measures were instigated saving €618 million, €300 million more than planned. These included the closure of Lufthansa Italia and the placing of short-haul flights not serving Frankfurt and Munich under the Germanwings brand.
During 2012, the Lufthansa branded airline reported an operating loss of €45 million, a decline of €161 million on the previous year. Swiss posted an operating result of €191 million, down €68 million. However, Austrian Airlines’ operating result of €65 million was an improvement of €127 million, due to the transfer of operations to the cheaper Tyrolean Airways platform.
Christoph Franz, Lufthansa group chairman said Score’s initiatives were aimed at producing an operating profit of “at least €2.3 billion”.
“Early successes are already visible and can be measured,” he said.
Report by Gary Noakes