March 4, 2021, 2:14 a.m. EST

Lufthansa sees demand ahead after 2020 loss

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By Olivia Bugault

Deutsche Lufthansa AG said Thursday that it is preparing for higher demand in the short term after posting a hefty loss in 2020 as it hit hard by the coronavrius pandemic.

"From the summer onwards, we expect demand to pick up again as soon as restrictive travel limits are reduced by a further roll-out of tests and vaccines," Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said. "We are prepared to offer up to 70% of our pre-crisis capacity again in the short term as demand increases," Mr. Spohr said.

Revenue for 2020 was down 63% to 13.59 billion euros ($16.39 billion), while net loss was EUR6.73 billion compared with a profit of EUR1.21 billion in 2019, the German carrier said.

Adjusted loss before interest and taxes stood at EUR5.45 billion, compared with an adjusted EBIT of EUR2.03 billion the year before.

Lufthansa expects capacity on offer to rise to 40%-50% of 2019's levels this year and the group still sees a return to positive operating cash flows once capacity on offer exceeds 50%. In addition, its adjusted EBIT loss should be lower in 2021 compared with last year, and monthly operating cash drain--excluding working capital changes, capital expenditure and one-off and restructuring expenses--should come in at around EUR300 million in its first quarter on average, it forecasts.

Lufthansa said it is examining possible disposals of subsidiaries that have minor synergies with its core business.

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

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