Lufthansa Cargo posted an operating profit of $191.5 million in the first half of 2011, just 7.6 percent down from last year’s record $207 million profit.
The German carrier’s revenue jumped 17.1 percent to $2.2 billion from $1.85 billion in the first half of 2010, as it ramped up capacity to keep pace with surging demand. Cargo volume was 14.8 percent higher at 953,000 metric tons.
Capacity increased 19.7 percent as Lufthansa re-activated MD-11 freighters idled during the global economic recession and Aerologic, its joint venture with DHL Express, added more 777 freighters to its fleet. Lufthansa Cargo also integrated the freight operations of subsidiary Austrian Airlines.
Cargo revenue rose 14.3 percent although the load factor slipped 3.3 percentage points to 69.1 percent.
The largest volume growth of 19.5 percent was in the Americas, driven mainly by exports to Latin America. Asia/Pacific traffic increased 12.5 percent, with growth impacted by Japan’s sluggish recovery from the earthquake in March and slower growth in Chinese exports.
Americas revenue soared 37.4 percent to $768 million, while Asia/Pacific sales grew 5.9 percent to $952 million.
Although revenue and profit growth slowed in the second quarter, Lufthansa Cargo said it remains optimistic for a “substantially positive” operating result for the full year.
Parent Lufthansa booked an operating profit of $4.2 million against a year earlier loss of $246 million, while revenue increased 11.4 percent to $20.2 billion.
The net loss widened to $297 million from $150 million in the first half of 2010.