Lufthansa’s profits down for the first quarter

As expected by Lufthansa when it was forecasting its financial results for 2019, the year has begun slowly, as the airline has not been profitable so far this year.

Lufthansa reported an adjusted operating loss (EBIT) of €336 million in the first quarter of 2019. Last year, the European operator reported a positive EBIT of €52 million over the same period.

Sales for the first quarter increased by 3%, €7.9 million, but the group explains that its quarterly results were affected by a €202 million increase in fuel costs when compared to last year. The airline also pointed out the market-wide overcapacities in Europe along with other factors.

In 2018, the group spent €6.1 billion on fuel, an increase of €850 million compared to the previous year. The group has already said this year that it expects to see an increase of €650 million in 2019.

The company also notes that the basis of comparison with 2018 was not a true indicator as, during this period a year earlier, the group sold Air Berlin, which led to a particularly strong first-quarter results.

For the second quarter of 2019, Lufthansa expects to increase until revenues, based on favourable booking levels. “We are seeing good booking levels for the quarter ahead,” said Ulrik Svensson, chief financial officer for Lufthansa, adding that “at the same time, we have substantially reduced our own growth.”

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