Prospects are good for Lufthansa shareholders with the Lufthansa Group posting a net profit of around 1.1 billion euros and an operating result of 876 million euros for the last year - more than any other European aviation group. Lufthansa Group Chairman and CEO Christoph Franz will be presenting the good result to shareholders at today's Annual General Meeting in Berlin and the Group plans to let them share in the company's success. The Executive and Supervisory Boards will be proposing a dividend of 60 cents per share. Speaking before the meeting of the shareholders, Christoph Franz stressed that: “The success of the past year has not come easy, it was a difficult twelve months during which we had to overcome many major challenges. The airspace lockdowns, the pilots' strike, the hard winters at the beginning and end of the year, and the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis all demanded a great deal of us. However, Lufthansa kept its promise. We quickly and in an early stage reacted to the changes, adapted our processes and adjusted our structures. And at the same time, we benefitted from our established strengths - a solid financial basis, financial and operational flexibility, a strong airline group, a strong alliance and an excellent product. For this, a special thanks is due to the Group's staff for their hard work, our customers for their loyalty and our shareholders for their confidence in their company.”
Franz confirmed the forecast for the current business year saying that he continued to believe that the Group would post revenue and an operating result above the previous year's figure. He stressed that this would require the continuation of efforts undertaken, stating that: “The start into the current business year was a turbulent one. The catastrophes in Japan and political unrest in Africa and the Middle East called on us to show our flexibility once more - they are again evidence of the high volatility of our industry. It is therefore all the more important that burdens, such as the German air traffic tax or the European emissions trading system, not present competitive disadvantages and have a negative effect on demand for the German and European airlines.” He added that oil prices at record levels simply did not allow for a tax-related increase in the cost of air travel. Christoph Franz launched a further appeal at the politicians saying: “We are willing to invest - in 155 modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that we have ordered; in our on-board and ground products, which we are improving at a cost of almost three billion euros; and in the improvement of the infrastructure at our hubs to make it more customer-friendly. However, multi-billion euro investments, disciplined cost control and painful structural changes will not allow our company or Germany and Europe to share in the global growth of air transport if a fair and reliable political framework cannot be assured.” He finished by saying that this year alone, the Lufthansa Group will be employing 4,000 new staff in Germany and thus making an active contribution to economic growth.