Lufthansa reports record full-year profit

Lufthansa Group reported record profits for 2017 with adjusted pre-tax earnings up 70% on 2016 to almost €3 billion.

The Lufthansa Group airlines drove the growth, with traffic revenue contributing €28.4 billion of the €35.6 billion turnover total. Overall revenue grew 12.4% and costs were reduced.

Lufthansa chief executive and executive board chairman Carsten Spohr said: “2017 was a very good year. We achieved the best result in the history of our company.”

Network carriers Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines made most of the pre-tax profit, contributing €2.3 billion – up 50% on 2016.

The group’s low-cost, point-to-point carriers, led by German-based Eurowings, made a profit of about €100 million.

Spohr said: “We retain our clear focus on reducing our costs and raising our quality. We will continue to drive consolidation in Europe.”

Lufthansa took over Air Berlin’s operation at Dusseldorf and acquired more than half the failed carrier’s fleet at the end of last year.

Chief financial officer Ulrik Svensson noted: “Additional costs of compensation paid for the flight cancellations by Air Berlin burdened our cost.”

Air Berlin ceased flying at the end of October after filing for administration in August. Svensson reported the group had invested €900 million on Air Berlin aircraft.

Lufthansa forecast its profits for 2018 would be “only slightly below” those of 2017 and proposed a 60% increase to €0.8 per share in dividend payments to shareholders.

Svensson suggested: “This is the minimum level of dividend payment we aim to maintain in the coming years.”

The Lufthansa Group supervisory board confirmed Spohr as chief executive for the next five years, declaring: “He enjoys the highest level of confidence”.

Spohr has been chief executive since 2014 and a member of the executive board since 2011.

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