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Deutsche Lufthansa Makes Unexpected Profit In First Quarter

Deutsche Lufthansa has said that it expects distinctly better earnings...

Deutsche Lufthansa has said that it expects ?distinctly better? earnings this year after first quarter operating profits doubled and business travel recovered from the September 11th attacks. The stock rose as much as 4.1 percent on the news.

Lufthansa's earnings before interest and tax, or operating profit, rose to twelve million euros ($11 million) in the quarter from five million a year earlier, it said on its Web site. The carrier's net loss doubled to 186 million euros as its debt grew.

?Operating profit was considerably better than our forecast,? said Mike Powell, an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. He had predicted a 250-million euros loss for the quarter.

Europe's second largest carrier has been cutting capacity to match lower demand following the attacks in the US, and unlike rivals has resisted slashing fares. It has also cut costs by 239 million euros in the last sixteen months.