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Lufthansa Reports Big Losses in 2003

Germany's biggest airline, Lufthansa, posted losses of €980 million ($1.24 billion) last year, company officials announced Wednesday. This come after Lufthansa brought home profits of €717 million ($905 million) in 2002. Lufthansa's business suffered last year from the disruption of the war in Iraq, fears about terrorism, skimpier spending on business travel and the outbreak of the SARS illness, which hurt traffic on its Asian routes. The results also reflected large write-offs on the value of its catering business LSG Sky Chefs, which was hurt by the difficult state of the airline business in the United States. The division already has shed some 8,000 jobs and plans a further €150 million ($190 million) in cost savings. "Against this background, the executive board will not propose the payment of any dividend for financial year 2003," the airline said in a statement.