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Business

Lufthansa profits slide amid restructuring and strong euro

Germany's flagship carrier, Lufthansa, has reported a dip in profits, caused mainly by a strong euro and sluggish cargo business in the summer months. But the firm said its restructuring program was on track.

Germany's Lufthansa said Thursday its third-quarter profit suffered a 30-percent dip to 451 million euros ($615 million) while revenues between July and September were almost unchanged at 8.3 billion euros.

The airline attributed the slide to a strong euro making tickets a lot more expensive for overseas clients and Japanese passengers in particular.

"We have to brace for headwinds any time," CFO Simone Menne said in a statement, adding that the negative effect of a strong domestic currency could not fully be compensated by lower fuel prices.

Profitable passenger business

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Lufthansa banks on Germanwings

The carrier's net earnings for the first nine monthsof the 2013 fell by 65 percent year-on-year. Lufthansa noted that restructuring costs and one-time effects played a role in the profit decline.

But the airline emphasized it was making good progress in reining in operational costs in line with its "Score" savings program that among other things had seen low-budget subsidiary Germanwings assuming a much larger role in the company's European business.

Other subsidiaries, including Swiss and Austrian Airlines, were reported to have made profits too. Lufthansa's cargo division looked more problematic, with freight shipping down by a third in the first nine months, compared to the same period a year earlier.

hg/dr (dpa, AP)

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