Lufthansa returns to profit in 2012 thanks to equity sales, cancels dividend

Published February 19, 2013

| Associated Press

German airline Lufthansa says it made €990 million ($1.3 billion) net profit last year but canceled its dividend payment to shareholders and said it would close sites and merge office functions as it presses ahead with restructuring its business.

The net profit compares to a loss of €13 million from 2011. But the improvement came mostly from the sale of equity investments, not better earnings from its businesses.

CEO Christoph Franz said Tuesday the company needs to "perform even better."

Lufthansa said it would merge finance, purchasing and human resources activities and close its head office in Cologne, which has a staff of 365, by the end of 2017. It will also close an office in Norderstedt where 350 people work and consider moving the headquarters of its Lufthansa CityLine division from Cologne to its operational base in Munich.

"Short decision-making channels and fewer interfaces will make Lufthansa's passenger business leaner, faster and more flexible," said Carsten Spohr, a member of the top management board.

The company has already announced it needs to drop 3,500 office jobs and move some European routes to its low-cost airline Germanwings. The company is trying to improve operating profits by €1.5 billion by 2015.

It said that it would invest €9 billion from 2015 to 2015 in new planes that would be cheaper to operate. It plans to buy eight long-haul planes and 100 short- and medium-range planes. Lufthansa flies aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing.

For the entire year, revenues rose 4.9 percent to €30.1 billion euros.

The company releases full earnings March 14.

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