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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Airline Lufthansa's losses triple
Lufthansa airplane

Shares in Lufthansa slipped after it revealed operating losses tripled in the first three months of 2006 to 75m euros ($95.3m, 51.5m).

But the German airline's sales took off, hitting 4.4bn euros compared with 3.9bn euros in the same 2005 spell.

It said operating losses were bigger as they now included its budget airline Germanwings and other new operations.

Net losses at the group narrowed to 98m euros from 116m euros, but missed analysts' expectations of 80m euros.

Lufthansa shares dipped more than 2% when the announcement was made, but later recovered to stand down by just 0.9% at 15 euros.

A detailed analysis of its performance from January to March will be released on Thursday.

In March, Lufthansa said it expected its operating profit for 2006 to at least equal last year's 577m euros.

That was despite expectations that fuel costs would rise by 22% over the year.

The carrier is targeting operating profit of 1 billion euros by 2008.

It is in the process of expansion as it fights the threat from rivals in Europe such as Ryanair.

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