German airline Lufthansa says it plans to buy 102 new aircraft from European plane maker Airbus

Lufthansa to buy 102 new Airbuses

Lufthansa is planning to buy 102 new aircraft from plane-maker Airbus to improve fuel efficiency and meet future demand.

Chief executive Christoph Franz said in a statement that the board had approved the purchase of two Airbus A380 superjumbo jets and 30 Airbus A320s.

The board also authorised management to complete negotiations for a further 70 Airbus A320 and A321 planes.

Franz said the purchase focused on making the company's fleet more modern and fuel-efficient, rather than expanding it. The company is trying to cut costs and improve profits.

Lufthansa also said it would buy six Boeing 777-ER plans for its Swiss subsidiary.

Lufthansa said it now has 236 planes on order between now and 2025 with a list price of €22bn (£19.2bn).

The announcement of the purchase came as the company said it expected its operating profit to improve this year and next year but warned that economic headwinds and restructuring costs would limit gains.

"We should not get our expectations too high for 2013," Franz said as he presented full 2012 financial results.

"Our 2013 result shall have to bear the burden of the restructuring and project costs."

The German flagship carrier aims to achieve an operating profit of €2.3bn (£2bn) in 2015, helped by its restructuring programme - dubbed 'SCORE'.

The programme comprises hundreds of measures including 3,500 job cuts, a revamp of low-cost carrier Germanwings and bundling of procurement for Lufthansa's airlines.

Lufthansa reported last month its 2012 operating profit dropped 36 per cent to €524m as the price of jet fuel rose and it spent money on measures to rein in costs and boost earnings.

Excluding restructuring costs of €160m, the programme's contribution to earnings was €618m in 2012. That figure will rise to €740m this year.

Lufthansa sees net profit falling this year after it swung to a profit of €990m from a year-earlier loss of €13m thanks to a €623m book gain from shares in Amadeus IT Holding.

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