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Lufthansa: 9m operating profit up 52%.

(CercleFinance.com) - Germany's Lufthansa Group posted a 52% increase in its operating profit for the first nine months of the year, slightly ahead of analysts' estimates.

The airline said the key performance indicator of adjusted EBIT rose to 2.56 billion euros from 883 million euros in the same period last year.

Total revenues rose 12.1% to 26.76 billion euros, while traffic revenues increased by 14.4% to 21.3 billion euros.

Lufthansa said the record earnings result reflected the 2.1% improvement in the aggregate 9m seat load factor, while unit costs excluding fuel and currency factors were reduced by 0.8%.

The carrier said it expects Q4 unit revenues to increase slightly on organic capacity growth of 5.5%.

Lufthansa shares are currently down 1.9% at 25.7 euros in Frankfurt after these figures were released, with investors taking profit after the stock's strong run over the past 12 months.

The shares have risen by 128% over the past year.

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