Lufthansa Cargo remains profitable in tough year

Lufthansa Cargo achieved an operating profit of €77 million in the last financial year, down €28 million from 2012, on total revenue of €2.4 billion, a decline of some nine per cent over the previous year.


Lufthansa Cargo remains profitable in tough year


Lufthansa Cargo achieved an operating profit of €77 million in the last financial year, down €28 million from 2012, on total revenue of €2.4 billion, a decline of some nine per cent over the previous year. The carrier noted that numerous projects in the ‘Lufthansa Cargo 2020’ future programme were vigorously pursued during the year, including strict cost management that reduced the company’s expenditures below the previous year’s level. The operating profit, although reduced, positions Lufthansa Cargo as one of the few cargo airlines in the world to maintain profitability in a very difficult market environment that has seen many competitors shrink or even suspend their freighter operations in the face of persistent losses. The carrier said it expects a significantly higher result in 2014.

Lufthansa Cargo chairman and CEO, Karl Ulrich Garnadt – who will take over at the helm of Lufthansa’s passenger division on 1 May – emphasised that the company is well on its way to consolidating and strengthening its position as Europe’s leading cargo airline this year: “We have set ourselves ambitious targets. We want to grow our tonnage by around five per cent and plan to significantly increase the operating profit”, said Garnadt.

Pointing to demand in global air freight markets remained perceptibly below expectations last year the carrier said signs of the upturn predicted for the middle of the year only appeared towards the end of the year, with positive developments on Far Eastern routes in particular. “During this difficult phase, Lufthansa Cargo continued to pursue its very successful strategy of flexible, demand-oriented capacity management, as in previous years. This allowed the cargo airline to boost capacity utilisation even though tonnage levels fell slightly. On an annual average basis, the cargo load factor increased to the very high level of 69.9 per cent. However, there was continued pressure on average yields due to poor demand. Lufthansa Cargo flew 1.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2013, down one per cent on 2012, with 12.5 million available tonne-kilometres (ATKs) and 8.7 million revenue tonnekilometres making for a 69.9 per cent cargo load factor, up marginally on last year.