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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Football helps Lufthansa take-off
Lufthansa airplane

World Cup passengers and a string of takeovers have helped boost Lufthansa's operating profits by 17% in the first six months of 2006.

Germany's national carrier made a 297m euros ($373.9m; 203.3m) profit on sales of 9.6bn euros.

The firm flew thousands of football fans in and out of Germany for the month-long tournament.

It has also taken over Swiss International Air and added to its Eurowings group.

Lufthansa's net profits were 85m euros, compared with just 200,000 euros a year before.

But although the performance was better than had been expected, shares in the firm dropped 1%.

Lufthansa said it now expected its operating profit for 2006 to beat last year's 577m euros.

The announcement came 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 low-cost rivals in Europe such as Ryanair.


SEE ALSO
Airline Lufthansa's losses triple
10 May 06 |  Business
Lufthansa raises profit forecast
19 Jan 06 |  Business
Swiss backs Lufthansa takeover
22 Mar 05 |  Business
Decision on Lufthansa offer looms
18 Mar 05 |  Business
Lufthansa flies back to profit
01 Mar 05 |  Business
Lufthansa reaches wages agreement
08 Dec 04 |  Business

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