Lufthansa reports net loss for FY2009; Vueling load factor not as strong as expected


European carrier shares fell with the wider market on Thursday (11-Mar-2010), on concerns China will increase interest rates after a rise in inflation in the country. Investors were also disappointed with economic data from the US, which pushed down Wall Street.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (-0.4%), France’s CAC (-0.4%) and Germany’s DAX (-0.2%) were all down slightly.

Lufthansa reports net loss for FY2009

Lufthansa (-1.4%) fell after the group reported a net loss of EUR112 million for the 12 months ended 31-Dec-2009, compared to a profit of EUR542 million in the previous corresponding period. However, the group posted an operating profit of EUR130 million, but this was down 89.8% year-on-year. A breakdown of operating profit/losses are as follows:

  • Passenger Airline Group: (EUR8 million), compared to a profit of EUR789 million in the previous corresponding period;
  • Logistics: (EUR171 million), compared to a profit of EUR164 million in the previous corresponding period;
  • MRO: EUR316 million, +5.7%;
  • IT Services: EUR16 million, -60.0%;
  • Catering: EUR72 million, +2.9%.

The carrier now expects operating profit results to improve this year as the global economy recovers and it moves to further cut costs by EUR1 billion by 2011. However, it added recent acquisitions may continue to weigh on earnings. The carrier forecast sustainable recovery is likely to occur from 2H2010, but declined to forecast whether the Group would be profitable this year.

Vueling load factor not as strong as expected

Vueling (-1.6%) was also lower after investors expected more than a 4.5 ppts increase in load factor for Feb-2010, to 71.5%. Passenger numbers were up 102.4%, to 685,224, due to its acquisition of clickair last year.

Cimber Sterling (-4.8%) and airberlin (-2.2%) were also down.

Air France files complaint against Ryanair

Air France (+0.6%) was one of few gainers for the day. The carrier confirmed during trading that it filed a complaint with the European Commission against Ryanair at the end of Nov-2009, with respect to the "financial aid it receives from French regional and local airports". Ryanair responded, stating it has not received any such state aid, while Air France had.

Thomas Cook Group (+3.2%) and SAS (+2.3%) were also up at the end of trading.

Also in today’s Europe Airline Daily:

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 11-Mar-2010

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