Lufthansa Group today raised its annual profit forecast on the back of improved business travel bookings.

The German airline combine’s earnings forecast was lifted to “approximately on previous year’s level” from “below” the 2015 result.

The projection came despite the group seeing adjusted earnings [EBIT] of €1.67 billion for the first nine months of the year slip against the €1.69 billion achieved in the same period in 2015.

However, the passenger airline division achieved improved earnings of €1.40 billion compared with €1.35 billion.

Overall revenues for the nine months came in at €23.9 billion against €24.3 billion year-on-year.

“Compared to the previous guidance, especially the difficult-to-forecast short-term bookings of business travellers in September have developed better than expected,” Lufthansa said.

“The capacity and steering measures initiated after the decline in long-term bookings were successful.

“However, political and economic uncertainties continue to significantly burden long-term bookings, especially on long-haul routes to Europe.

“Forecasting short-term bookings therefore remains challenging and may lead to significant volatility in earnings going forward.”

Full results for the first nine months of 2016 are due to be released on November 2.