Negative market trends hit Lufthansa Cargo’s profits

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First quarter profits for Lufthansa Cargo fell substantially due to negative market trends particularly on Europe – Asia routes.

Adjusted EBIT was down 67% to €24 million, with the adjusted EBIT margin declining by 7.3 percentage points from 11.2% to 3.9%.

Revenue for the logistics business segment, which covers Lufthansa Cargo was down 4% to €616 million due to declining yields on American and Asian routes.

Load factors fell significantly, down 6.8 percentage points from 69.6% to 62.8% with most regions seeing declines.

In Europe, the cargo load factor was down 14.7 percentage points to 35.5%, America by 5.4 percentage points to 63.8%, Asia Pacific by 8.4 percentage points to 68.6%, though Middle East/Africa rose by 3.9 percentage points to 52.4%.

Operating expenses increased by 6% to €623 million due to rising cost of materials and services partly due to taking over belly capacity of Brussels Airlines and higher depreciation as a result of capital expenditure on three new Boeing 777 Freighters.

Highlights of the first quarter included expanding its partnership with Cathay Pacific on routes between Europe and Hong Kong.

The fleet is also being renewed with two new Boeing 777 Freighters joining the Lufthansa Cargo fleet in the spring with another two going to AeroLogic.

Two MD-11 Freighters will be taken out of operation by the end of 2019.