Lightning Strikes Lufthansa Twice | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 22.01.2002
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Lightning Strikes Lufthansa Twice

Tuesday's news was bad, but old, and Germany's flag carrier says "Reuters or somebody" hyped it, moving markets unnecessarily.


Losses announced in November scared investors in January

A company executive can scarcely be too sensitive in his treatment of financial results nowadays, lest he frighten fickle investors.

Lufthansa's chief executive for human resources, Stefan Lauer, learned this lesson Tuesday after giving a speech in Shanghai, China.

He mentioned the German flag carrier's expected loss for 2001, an expectation announced already last November, but when journalists jumped on the information investors reacted as if it were urgent.

"This is not really news," said a company spokeswoman and financial expert. She blamed "Reuters or somebody" present at Lauer's speech.

Lufthansa's shares, listed on the Frankfurt exchange, fell 2.52 percent on the news as European markets opened, before the company could restate its position. A recovery, though likely, may be more gradual.

The last signficant news for investors came last Thursday, when Lufthansa announced, to nobody's surprise, that passenger volume dropped off in 2001, affected by an industry-wide slump after the September 11 suicide hijackings in the United States.

During 2001, the carrier transported 45.7 million passengers, dropping 2.8 percent from the previous year.

But 12-month financial results will not be available until publication of the company's annual report, April 25.

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