Lufthansa Group achieves financial turnaround in 2022 with Adjusted EBIT of 1.5 billion euros
− Revenue almost doubled to 33 billion euros − Record results at Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Technik − Highest Adjusted free cash flow in company history − Booking momentum remains strong at high average yields − Passenger numbers more than doubled: Over 100 million passengers on board again − New aircraft and new cabin interior for premium flight experience − Further significant improvement of Adjusted EBIT expected for 2023
Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said:
"Lufthansa is back. In just one year, we have achieved an unprecedented financial turnaround. With an operating profit of 1.5 billion euros, the Lufthansa Group has achieved a much better result than expected. Demand for air travel remains high in 2023. We are investing billions in new fuel-efficient and state-of-the-art aircraft. With innovative services, a new premium cabin on board, and new digital tools, we want to remain the quality and innovation leader in our industry. Likewise, it is our ambition to drive forward effective climate protection, for example by being the first airline group worldwide to introduce Green Fares. The Lufthansa Group is already number one in Europe and number four worldwide. For our guests and our employees, we want to continue to grow, shape the future and expand our market position."
Due to the strong increase in demand for air travel over the course of the year, the Lufthansa Group nearly doubled its revenue to 32.8 billion euros in the financial year 2022 (previous year: 16.8 billion).
In the financial year 2022, the company generated an Adjusted EBIT of 1.5 billion euros (previous year: -1.7 billion euros) and thereby returned to a clearly positive result despite high cost inflation, especially regarding fuel costs. The Adjusted EBIT margin improved accordingly to 4.6 percent (previous year: -9.9 percent). Net income was 791 million euros - a significant improvement on the previous year (2021: -2.2 billion euros).
Passenger numbers and traffic development
During the last year, significantly more people flew with the airlines of the Lufthansa Group than in 2021. In total, 102 million passengers were welcomed on board, more than twice as many as in 2021 (previous year: 47 million).
Following the strong increase in demand for air travel, the number of offered flights was expanded significantly over the course of the year. In the summer of 2022, global shortages in the airline industry led to a short-term overload of the overall system. To relieve the system, airlines around the world cancelled numerous flights, which stabilized flight operations. Overall, the capacity offered by the passenger airlines of Lufthansa Group was 72 percent compared to the pre-crisis year of 2019. In the first quarter of 2022, capacity had just amounted to 57 percent of pre-crisis levels. The seat load factor of 79.8 percent in 2022 was 18.2 percentage points higher than the previous year (61.6 percent).
Passenger Airlines with significant improvement in earnings
The year 2022 in the Passenger Airlines segment was divided into two parts: While earnings at the beginning of the year were still heavily impacted by the spread of the Omicron virus variant and the associated travel restrictions, the Passenger Airlines benefited from a significant increase in demand for airline tickets over the course of the year.
Passenger airline revenues increased by 148 percent year-on-year to 22.8 billion euros in the financial year 2022 (previous year: 9.2 billion) due to the significant increase in passenger traffic and higher yields.
Adjusted EBIT at Passenger Airlines improved significantly in the past fiscal year, at an operating loss of -300 million euros (previous year: -3.3 billion euros). Due to strong demand and continued limited capacity, average yields increased significantly, especially in the second half of the year. In 2022, yields were 16 percent higher than the pre-crisis level in 2019, with the increase in the fourth quarter amounting to 21 percent. The passenger airlines were thus able to achieve a clearly positive Adjusted EBIT in the third and fourth quarters of the year despite the significant cost inflation. SWISS and Austrian Airlines also generated an operating profit for the full year 2022 (SWISS Adjusted EBIT: 476 million euros; Austrian Airlines Adjusted EBIT: 3 million euros).
Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Technik with record results
The positive earnings trend in the Logistics segment continued in the financial year 2022. Lufthansa Cargo benefited from the persistently high demand for airfreight. The market-wide supply was still lower in 2022 than before the pandemic due to the missing belly capacities of passenger aircraft. Yields increased in all traffic regions of Lufthansa Cargo and were 21 percent higher overall than in the previous year. Yields thereby reached a record level in Lufthansa Cargo's history and were 136 percent above the pre-crisis level of 2019. Adjusted EBIT rose by 7 percent year-on-year to 1.6 billion euros (previous year: 1.5 billion euros) - also an absolute record in its company's history.
Due to the strong global increase in demand for air travel and the accompanying growth in demand for maintenance and repair services, Lufthansa Technik's earnings increased to a record level in the financial year 2022, too. Adjusted EBIT improved by 41 percent year-on-year to 511 million euros (previous year: 362 million euros).
The Catering segment faced particular challenges from high inflation and the tight labor market in North America. Nevertheless, the LSG group was able to report a positive business development. Revenue increased by almost 80 percent and Adjusted EBIT improved on a like-for-like basis, i.e. excluding the subsidies under the US CARES Act in the previous year. The Adjusted EBIT loss in 2022 amounted to 11 million euros.
Adjusted free cash flow at record level - Balance sheet improved significantly
In the financial year 2022, the Lufthansa Group continued to put particular focus on the optimization of cash flow. Due to the improvement in earnings, the strong increase in bookings and the associated rise in customer pre-payments, as well as the consistent management of receivables and payables, the operating cash flow improved significantly. Net capital expenditures amounted to 2.3 billion euros in fiscal 2022 (previous year: 1.1 billion euros), lower than expected due to the delay in planned aircraft deliveries. Overall, Adjusted free cash flow reached an all-time high of 2.5 billion euros in the financial year 2022 and improved significantly compared with the previous year (previous year: -1.0 billion euros).
The Lufthansa Group has decided to maintain liquidity in the range of 8 to 10 billion euros in the future to better protect itself against potential future crises. This represents a further increase in view of the company's substantial growth. As of December 31, 2022, the Lufthansa Group's available liquidity of 10.4 billion euros was even above the newly defined long-term target corridor (previous year: 9.4 billion euros). After the remaining government aid in Austria and Belgium was repaid in full in the fourth quarter, the Lufthansa Group successfully ended all government stabilization measures in the financial year.
Other balance sheet positions also improved significantly in the financial year. Net pension obligations decreased to 2.0 billion euros (previous year: 6.5 billion euros), mainly due to the market-wide rise in interest rates. Net debt also decreased significantly to 6.9 billion euros (previous year: 9.0 billion euros), almost to the pre-crisis level. Shareholder’s equity almost doubled to 8.5 billion euros on December 31, 2022 (previous year: 4.5 billion euros). Financial leverage, defined as the sum of net debt and net pension liabilities over Adjusted EBITDA, is now 2.3, below the pre-crisis level of 2.8 in 2019.
Remco Steenbergen, Chief Financial Officer, Deutsche Lufthansa AG:
"I have always made it clear that returning to a strong balance sheet was one of our top priorities in overcoming the crisis. Only a strong balance sheet provides the resilience needed to invest in the future of our business and to manage future crises. That is why I am extremely pleased with the progress made last year. We remain firmly committed to generating consistently strong free cash flows and continuing the deleveraging in 2023 and beyond."
Restructuring almost complete – Preparations for a possible partial sale of Lufthansa Technik proceeding according to plan
Lufthansa Group has almost completed its ambitious transformation and cost reduction program towards the end of last year. Through the program, the company adjusted itself to the new market environment. The aim is to achieve structural cost savings of 3.5 billion euros per year by 2024. By the end of the fiscal year, over 90 percent of the measures had already been implemented, reducing the cost base structurally by 3.2 billion euros per year. The implementation of the restructuring program makes a significant contribution in mitigating the effects of high inflation.
The company continues to evaluate the sale of non-core assets. AirPlus and LSG's remaining catering business, following the sale of the European part, will be sold as soon as market conditions permit. Preparations for a possible partial divestiture of Lufthansa Technik are proceeding according to plan as talks with selected investors have already begun.
Following the signing of a letter of intent by Lufthansa Group and the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, both sides are currently negotiating exclusively on the form of a potential investment in the Italian airline ITA Airways.
The Lufthansa Group expects demand for air tickets to remain strong in the current year. Demand for air travel during the Easter and summer vacation periods is particularly robust. The most popular destinations are once again Spain, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries. The Group's passenger airlines also continue to experience high demand for flights to and from North America. Based on the current booking situation, the company expects yields to remain high.
Due to the continued robust demand, capacities for passenger flights will be expanded. For the full year, the Lufthansa Group expects capacity to increase to around 85 to 90 percent on average compared with 2019. The capacity development will be limited by the bottlenecks still expected in the European aviation system. In the first quarter, capacity will be around 75% of pre-crisis levels.
For the Logistics segment, the company expects a significant decline in revenue due to the further normalization of the airfreight market. Freight rates are, however, likely to remain substantially above the pre-crisis level in 2019. As a result, the operating result in the Logistics segment will be down on the previous year, but will remain well above the pre-crisis level. For Lufthansa Technik, the Group expects 2023 earnings to be at least on a par with the previous year, reflecting the ongoing recovery of the MRO market combined with inflation-related cost increases.
For the financial year 2023, the Lufthansa Group expects further progress towards achieving the targets set for 2024: Adjusted EBIT margin of at least 8% and Adjusted ROCE of at least 10%. Accordingly, the company expects a further significant improvement in Adjusted EBIT in 2023. In line with regular seasonality, earnings are expected to be particularly strong in the quarters two and three. In the first quarter, Adjusted EBIT is expected to be negative.
With a clear strategy for a sustainable future
The Lufthansa Group pursues an ambitious sustainability agenda and is leading the way in the transformation of the industry. Its pioneering role is confirmed by leading rating agencies. Just recently, the company received the top rating "A-" in the renowned CDP climate ranking for its CO₂ reduction strategy and implementation.
With its Green Fares, the Lufthansa Group is the first airline group worldwide to offer flight fares that already include offsetting of flight-related CO₂ emissions - 20 percent through the use of sustainable aviation fuels and 80 percent through a contribution to high-quality climate protection projects. Lufthansa Group aims to achieve a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050 and to halve its net CO₂ emissions as early as 2030 compared with 2019 through reduction and compensation measures.
New aircraft and new cabin interior for premium flight experience
The Lufthansa Group is significantly accelerating the modernization of its fleet by ordering 22 new fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft from Airbus and Boeing (seven Boeing 787-9s, ten Airbus A350-1000s, five Airbus A350-900s).
In the coming years, the Lufthansa Group will take delivery of a total of more than 100 long-haul aircraft of the most modern types. On average, the new aircraft will consume around 2.5 liters of fuel per passenger and 100 kilometers of flight. That is around 30 percent less than previous models.
The Lufthansa Group is expanding its premium offering not only by purchasing state-of-the-art aircraft, but also by introducing a new cabin product generation on board. With "Allegris" Lufthansa Airlines is improving the overall travel experience for all customers in all classes: Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class. "Allegris" is part of the largest product and service initiative in the company's history, with a total investment of 2.5 billion euros until 2025. Further information on the fleet order and "Allegris" can be found here: https://www.lufthansagroup.com/en/newsroom.html
The annual press conference will be streamed live on www.lufthansagroup.com from 10:00 a.m. CET. The analyst call will be streamed live on https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en/publications/financial-reports.html from 1:00 p.m. CET.
Further information on the results of individual business segments will be published in the annual report. This will be published simultaneously with this press release on March 3, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. CET at https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en/publications.html.
Also at 7:00 a.m., traffic figures for 2022 will be posted at https://investor-relations.lufthansagroup.com/en/publications/traffic-figures.html.
Jan - Dec
Jan - Dec
Oct - Dec
Oct - Dec
Revenue and result
of which traffic revenue
Adjusted EBIT margin1)
Earnings per share
Key balance sheet and cash flow statement figures
Cash flow from operating activities1)
Net capital expenditures
Adjusted free cash flow1)
Employees as of 31 December
1) Previous year's figures have been adjusted due to amendments in the definition of the figures.