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Lufthansa Cargo posts record results to underpin future investments
Cargo carrier lifts profits to 310 million euros / Revenues climb to 2.8 billion euros
Lufthansa Cargo returned record results in 2010. The cargo carrier impressively harnessed the global economic upswing to post an operating profit of 310 million euros. Revenues rose to near pre-crisis levels and totalled 2.8 billion euros. The positive business development is set to continue in 2011 and furnish the foundations for wide-ranging company investments in the future.
At Lufthansa Cargo’s annual press conference, Chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt noted that the Company had come up with record profits only a year after the worst-ever results in its history. The Chairman emphasised: "We learnt during the crisis to react even faster to market changes. That strength paid off as the economy gathered momentum." Highly flexible network management coupled with development of new routes, expeditious reactivation of four freighters and innovative product developments formed the basis for raising revenues by 43 per cent in the wake of the economic upturn. "With that strategy and with the tremendous efforts of all Cargo Lufthanseats, we have succeeded in extending our lead on the competition notwithstanding setbacks, such as the ban on flights for several days after the volcanic eruption in Iceland," said Karl Ulrich Garnadt. With air cargo celebrating its centenary in Germany, Lufthansa Cargo is today stronger than ever before.
The present year will incisively shape the character of the Company, the CEO underlined. "Order placements for five new aircraft of the Boeing 777F type, the re-design of our cargo centre in Frankfurt and modernisation of our IT landscape will be of crucial importance for the success of Lufthansa Cargo in the years ahead." With the five new Boeing 777F freighters, which are slated for delivery between 2013 and 2015, the cargo carrier has opted for the most modern aircraft in its class. Positive experience with the type has already been gathered in the Lufthansa Cargo Group: The joint venture AeroLogic is already operating a fleet of eight Boeing 777 freighters. The freighters are noted for the highest fuel efficiency and a noise footprint significantly smaller than comparable wide-bodied aircraft.
In parallel, Lufthansa Cargo is preparing for extensive modernisation of the cargo centre at its home base at Frankfurt Airport. "Air cargo is and remains a growth industry, and indispensable for Germany as an economic base. We aim to share in that development," affirmed Karl Ulrich Garnadt. To that end, the Company is looking to operate a modern airfreight terminal, which is equipped to handle that growth. "With such an infrastructure project, we are creating long-term perspectives for the Frankfurt base, the German export industry and, not least, for thousands of employees." The Chairman renewed the demand to politicians for a clear, legal ruling on economically necessary night flights. Companies could only take investment decisions costing three-digit millions, if they had planning security. The dimensioning of the new Lufthansa Cargo Center is flexible, the Chairman said. A new building and extensive expansion could be economically justified only if the necessary night flights are allowed.
As the third pillar of future investment, Karl Ulrich Garnadt outlined plans for complete modernisation of the Company’s IT infrastructure. The objective, he said, is to support the Company’s core processes more professionally with IT systems in future and, simultaneously, reduce costs through greater efficiency. The aim in the medium term is to replace paperwork in airfreight completely with electronic documents.
The need for sustained economic success as the basis for future investment was also emphasised by Peter Gerber, Lufthansa Cargo Board Member Finance and Human Resources. "Stable and commensurate profits are essential for financing our ambitious future programme. Towards that end, we will continue to exercise the rigorous cost discipline, from which we have benefited in past years." In this context, Gerber highlighted the major contribution from all the staff. Short-time working and voluntary pay cuts had enabled Lufthansa Cargo to adapt its cost structure flexibly to underlying economic conditions. The Company is resultantly now in a position not only to offer interesting perspectives to its employees but also to create up to 250 new jobs in 2011.
Lufthansa Cargo is expecting further positive developments in fiscal 2011 and anticipating a clearly positive operating result. However, it does not expect a repeat of the record results in 2010, since these were decisively shaped by the upswing effects following the global economic crisis.
For more information about the Lufthansa Cargo results 2010 click here.