Lufthansa 2013 profit outlook disappoints, shares hit


Germany's Lufthansa unveiled a new 2013 profit outlook that fell short of expectations, driving its shares lower, as restructuring costs and volatile exchange rates weighed on its earnings.

The German flagship airline said on Tuesday it now saw its full-year operating profit rising to between 600 million and 700 million euros ($820.5-957.3 million) from 524 million in 2012, compared with a previous outlook for a year-on-year rise.

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That is well below the consensus for 917.5 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimates, which weight analysts' estimates according to their track record.

Shares in Lufthansa slid on the news and were down 4 percent at 14.26 euros by 0714 GMT. Germany's blue-chip DAX index was 0.1 percent lower.

Lufthansa, which is due to publish full nine-month results on October 31, said its full-year profit would be hit by about 200 million euros worth of restructuring costs and 100 million euros of project costs.

Like Air France-KLM and International Consolidated Airlines Group , which groups British Airways and Iberia, Lufthansa is the midst of deep cutbacks to cope with soaring fuel costs and tough competition from Gulf and low-cost carriers.

In the first nine months of 2013, Lufthansa's operating profit dropped 27 percent to about 660 million euros. Excluding restructuring and project costs, that figure came to about 860 million euros, it said.

($1 = 0.7312 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Christoph Steitz)