Lufthansa Group has blamed soaring fuel costs and lower fares, driven down by “market-wide over-capacity” in Europe, for its €336 million (£290 million) first-quarter (Q1) loss.
The German airline group on Monday (15 April) posted adjusted Q1 ebit (earnings before interest and tax) down nearly €400 million on Q1 2018 (€52 million).
Fuel costs accounted for €202 million, said Lufthansa, while “substantial industry-wide capacity growth in Europe” had put “downward pressure on fares” during the three months to 31 March.
Lufthansa said the scale of the loss was exacerbated by strong Q1 results last year, which came off the back of the collapse of Air Berlin.
The group posted total revenue of €7.9 billion, up 3% year-on-year, and says its full-year outlook for adjusted ebit remains between +6.5% to +8.0%. It also expects to return to profit in Q2.
Ulrik Svensson, Lufthansa Group chief financial officer, said: “We are seeing good booking levels for the quarter ahead. At the same time, we have substantially reduced our own capacity growth.
“And with a reduction in growth also projected for the European market as a whole, we expect unit revenues to increase again in the second quarter.
“This should be further buoyed by the still-strong demand on our long-haul routes, especially to Asia and north America.”