Lufthansa Cargo optimistic despite profit drop

LUFTHANSA CARGO (LC) recorded an operating profit of €77 million (US$106m) in 2013 – €28m less than the previous year. 
The German carrier also saw its overall revenue drop by 9.2 per cent to €2.4bn.
But despite the less than favourable balance sheet, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, chief executive and chairman, is upbeat about what the remainder of 2014 will bring.
“We have set ourselves ambitious targets. We want to grow our tonnage by around five per cent and plan to significantly increase the operating profit,” reveals Garnadt.
The cargo airline continued to pursue its very successful strategy of flexible, demand-oriented capacity management, allowing it to boost capacity utilisation even though tonnage levels fell slightly, a company statement says.
It also experienced ‘positive developments’ on Far Eastern routes in particular during the uptick towards the end of the year.
Although the carrier saw its freight load factor climb to 69.9 per cent, it still had to manage continued pressure on average yields due to poor demand.
Lufthansa Cargo is forging ahead with its ambitious modernisation projects, including new aircraft, a new cargo centre, and overhauling its IT system, as part of the 2020 future programme.  
Three B777Fs are to be deployed on North Atlantic routes and also to Shanghai from next week, while another B777F will be delivered in June. As a result of the fleet renewal programme, LC plans to fly just 14 of its 18 MD-11 freighters, the statement adds.

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