First post-pandemic dividend for Lufthansa as airline sees profits soar

Lufthansa aircrafts are parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, March 7, 2024.
Lufthansa aircrafts are parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, March 7, 2024. Copyright Michael Probst/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Michael Probst/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Doloresz Katanich
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Europe's biggest airline says 2023 provided the third-best financial result in the history of the group.


Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline group by revenue, saw net profits more than double last year. It is planning to pay dividends again for the first time since the pandemic.

The German carrier group, which also includes SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings, described its 2023 performance as the "third-best financial result in the history of the Lufthansa Group".

The group reported a net profit of €1.67 billion for 2023 compared with €791 million on the year earlier. Revenue was up by 15% at €35.4 billion while passenger numbers climbed 20% to more than 120 million.

"The Lufthansa Group has regained its financial strength" said Lufthansa chairman and CEO Carsten Spohr. "I would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty and each and every one of our approximately 100,000 employees. With their above-average commitment, they made 2023 one of the three best years in Lufthansa Group's history."

The company's performance in the last three months of 2023, however, was disappointing, with revenue growing just 5% while income fell by 78% to €67 million in the quarter, both were below expectations. 

After the successful full-year results, Lufthansa announced it would propose a €0.30 dividend a share at its annual general meeting on 7 May.  

"We want to pay our shareholders a dividend for the first time since 2019. We are also giving our employees a share in our good results development through significantly above-average collective wage agreements and profit-sharings," said the company. 

"For the past year, the company is paying Lufthansa Group employees profit-sharing payments agreed with the social partners amounting to over half a billion euros. Over 13,000 employees were recruited last year and a further 13,000 recruitments are planned for the current year."

Employees are on strike

Meanwhile, an ongoing strike is badly affecting the company's operation in Germany. 

Trade union Verdi has called on ground staff at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo and other companies to go on a 60-hour warning strike, according to the company's website. The strike will take place between Wednesday evening 8.00 p.m. CET and end on Saturday morning (09 March) at 7:10 a.m. CET. 

It is the third time this year that a strike has caused mass flight cancellations for Lufthansa, mainly due to a pay dispute with unions.

What does 2024 hold for Lufthansa?

Lufthansa says it expects further good results on the back of a continued increase in the demand for flights. Based on bookings, the company said its most popular destinations included Spain, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries. Other companies within the group have seen high demand for tickets to North America. 

As a result of the demand, Lufthansa says it will expand capacity by 12% on last year, which will add more than 30 new planes to their fleet. The overall capacity, however, will still be below pre-pandemic levels.

For the full 2024 financial year, the company expects the operating result to be at the level of 2023 and expects revenue to increase significantly.

The company has plans to invest €325 million in Italian airline ITA Airways, but the deal is being scrutinised by the European Ccmmission for competition concerns. Lufthansa said it "is expecting the EU Commission's approval for the transaction over the course of 2024".

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