Lufthansa earnings hit by high fuel cost, overcapacity

Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa posted a loss for first three months of the year, hurt by rising fuel cost as well as overcapacity in Europe.

The company said in a statement on Monday evening which adjusted earnings before interest as well as tax (EBIT) fell to -336 million euros (-$380 million), compared to 52 million euros a year earlier.

Earnings were hit by a 202-million euro rise in fuel costs, as well as a strong comparison to the previous year when the airline benefited by the loss of capacity due to Air Berlin’s insolvency, Lufthansa said.

The airline said the idea expected unit revenues at constant currency to boost year-on-year within the second quarter, helped by favorable booking levels as well as a clear slowing of the market-wide capacity growth.

For 2019, Lufthansa said the idea still required to report an adjusted operating profit margin of 6.5-8.0 percent.

Shares of the airline were indicated to open 5.5 percent lower in premarket trade on Tuesday morning at 0535 GMT.