Deutsche Lufthansa AG has achieved the targeted improvement in earnings well. Adjusted for non-recurring effects, the operating profit rose year on year by 62 per cent to EUR 1.042bn (previous year: EUR 643m). The reported operating profit came to EUR 697m, having totalled EUR 839m the previous year. A comparison of the reported results is of little informational value, however. The previous year’s reported result was largely boosted by non-recurring income from transferring operations at Austrian Airlines, while the result for 2013 was depressed by restructuring and project costs for the installation of the new Lufthansa Business Class seats.
Lufthansa Group revenue was stable at EUR 30.0bn (previous year: EUR 30.1bn). At EUR 313m, net profit for the year, which last year also included a profit of EUR 631m from the sale of shares in Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., was lower, as expected (previous year: EUR 1.2bn).
Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “We have strengthened the earnings power of the Lufthansa Group again last year. This is driven by the earnings performance in the passenger business, where all Airlines rose significantly. This performance trend is sustainable. It is based on a continuous improvement in the cost structure and on the billions invested in new products and services. Customer feedback here is extremely positive. This performance in our core business segment has prompted us to propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.45 per share be paid.”
Lufthansa and Germanwings boost earnings power and increase profit
Lufthansa and Germanwings increased their operating profit last year to EUR 265m – an increase of EUR 240m and thus the most visible earnings improvement in the Group. Adjusted for restructuring costs, the increase even came to EUR 340m. The persistent implementation of Score projects at Lufthansa, including the transfer of European direct traffic outside the hubs in Frankfurt and Munich to Germanwings, had a positive effect on earnings. The new aircraft, which continually join the fleet, are being fitted with the latest cabin products across all travel classes, which has already led to greater customer satisfaction and has also had an impact on the bottom line. These state-of-the-art aircraft are also considerably quieter and more fuel-efficient, and stand out for their lower operating costs. In 2013 alone the Group ordered 167 new aircraft worth EUR 23bn. While the revenue per available seat-kilometre (RASK) fell slightly due to currency movements and also because of disproportionate growth in Economy Class, costs per available seat-kilometre (CASK) were reduced even faster, and so the overall result improved considerably.
The passenger business overall performed well in 2013, contributing EUR 495m (previous year: EUR 556m, including one-off effects) to the Group’s operating result. Swiss accounted for a substantial share of EUR 226m, a year-on-year increase of EUR 22m. Austrian Airlines generated a profit in 2013 without tailwind from special items for the first time since joining the Lufthansa Group. The company’s profit of EUR 25m for the financial year is EUR 178m lower than in the previous year. However, the previous year’s positive result was solely due to non-recurring effects in connection with the transfer of flight operations to Tyrolean Airways.
Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs report record profits
All of the Group’s business segments were profitable in 2013. Lufthansa Technik and LSG Sky Chefs generated operating results of EUR 404m (previous year: EUR 328m) and EUR 105m (previous year: EUR 101m) respectively, which were both the highest earnings in their corporate history. The IT Services segment also increased its operating profit from EUR 20m in 2012 to EUR 36m – a rise of 80 per cent.
Effective cost management secured a positive result for Lufthansa Cargo, despite weak market demand and persistently high price pressure in the freight market. Revenue declined by nine per cent, but the company kept its operating margin stable. The Logistics segment generated an operating profit of EUR 77m (previous year: EUR 105m).
Group pursues restructuring undiminished and anticipates a further increase in the operating profit to between EUR 1.3bn and EUR 1.5bn in 2014
“Score is on track. We have achieved our profit and restructuring targets for 2013. And we have created the conditions that will enable us to keep increasing our profits in the years ahead. We are working on further measures to improve earnings, which will enable us to cope with greater headwinds, too,” said Simone Menne, Member of the Executive Board and CFO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
The Group amended its depreciation policy, which will have an effect on the operating result from 2014 onwards. As many of its competitors have already done, the Company extended the depreciation period for its aircraft from 12 to 20 years, and reduced their residual book value from 15 to 5 per cent of the purchase price. This alteration corrects the effective useful life and the depreciation of the aircraft and ensures that they are presented correctly in the balance sheet. In the new financial year, the operating result is to rise by EUR 340m due to the change in depreciation policy, in 2015; it will increase by EUR 350m.
This change to the method of depreciating aircraft has no material effect on the Group’s economic strength. Its effects are felt solely at an accounting level. “Score therefore still aims to boost the operating profit sustainably by EUR 1.5bn compared with 2011,” said Menne. Applied to the earnings target, this meant that the Group now needed to increase its operating profit to EUR 2.65bn by 2015, she added. The change would also lead to a review of the Group’s dividend policy, since this was also dependent on the operating result. Simone Menne said: “We will review our dividend policy this year. However, it is clear that we will continue to let shareholders participate reasonably on our profits.”
The Group expects a positive business performance in the current year, too. As in 2013, the higher results should come largely from the passenger business. The Group’s adjusted operating result should therefore increase again by around 40 per cent and would come to between EUR 1.7bn and EUR 1.9bn for 2014. The reported operating result of the Lufthansa Group, including restructuring and project costs, should reach EUR 1.3bn to EUR 1.5bn at the end of the year. Christoph Franz said: “I am convinced that the Lufthansa Group and its staff will continue to successfully hold their own in an industry which will continue to change rapidly and consolidate further. The company has already become noticeably more dynamic and is creating value – for customers, employees and shareholders in equal measure. The Lufthansa Group and its companies are well prepared for the challenges ahead.”
Lufthansa Group January–December Change
Total revenue €m 30,028 30,135 -0.4%
of which traffic revenue €m 24,565 24,793 -0.9%
Result from operating activities €m 849 1,622 -47.7%
Operating result €m 697 839 -16.9%
Non-recurring effects €m 345 -196
Adjusted operating result*** €m 1,042 643 62.1%
Adjusted operating margin* in % 3 3,3 -0.3 p.
Net profit/loss for the period €m 313 1,228 -74.5%
Capital expenditure €m 2,499 2,343 7%
Cash flow from operating activities €m 3,29 2,842 15.8%
Employees as of 31.12. 118,214 116,957 1,257
Earnings per share € 0,68 2,68 -2
*) Operating result plus write-backs of provisions, divided by revenue
**) Previous year’s figures have been adjusted in line with changes to IAS 19
***) Operating result adjusted for restructuring and project costs (EUR -345m) and positive non-recurring effects in the previous year’s result (EUR +325m)
2013 in figures
Revenue in 2013 remained stable at EUR 30.0bn, a fall of 0.4 per cent compared with the previous year. Overall, the Group’s operating income declined slightly to EUR 32.2bn in the reporting period, a fall of 2.4 per cent. Traffic revenue declined by 0.9 per cent to EUR 24.6bn. There was no change in operating expenses last year, which came to EUR 31.4bn (-0.1 per cent). Fuel costs fell by EUR 334m to EUR 7.1bn, a decline of 4.5 per cent. Included in this amount is a contribution of EUR -125m from price hedging. Fees and charges fell by 0.3 per cent on the previous year, in particular due to a lower number of flights.
In 2013, the Lufthansa Group generated an operating result of EUR 697m. To facilitate comparison, the operating result originally reported for the previous year was adjusted by EUR 315m following the amendments to accounting standard IAS 19. Following this adjustment, the result for 2012 came to EUR 839m.
The net result for the period fell by EUR 915m to EUR 313m. Earnings per share sank to EUR 0.68.
The Lufthansa Group invested EUR 2.5bn in the reporting period, EUR 156m more than in the previous year. Of the total, EUR 2.1bn went on modernising and maintaining the fleet. Cash flow from operating activities came to EUR 3.3bn and free cash flow (cash flow from operating activities less net capital expenditure) to EUR 1.3bn. For 2013, the Group had a by EUR 256m reduced net debt of EUR 1.7bn. Following the application of new accounting standards (IAS 19), the equity ratio went up 4.1 percentage points to 21.0 per cent.
Source / Author: Deutsche Lufthansa AG