Lufthansa has reported narrower losses in its first quarter results.
Lufthansa has reported narrower losses in its first quarter results.Reuters

German airline Lufthansa has narrowed its losses by 45% in the first quarter of the year, thanks to a cost-cutting programme and a drop in fuel costs.

Lufthansa's first quarter net loss was €252m (£207m, $351m), lifted by restructuring measures and an increase in profits at Lufthansa Technik, its maintenance and repair service, as well as a 9.4% drop in fuel costs.

Lufthansa said its operating loss narrowed to €245m from €359m.

Unit costs were reduced by 3.7% thanks to its restructuring program, named SCORE, which was implemented in 2012 to battle tough market conditions.

Chief financial officer Simone Menne said: "We held our ground in a difficult market, thanks to SCORE."

However, revenue was down by 2.5% to €6.46bn from €6.63bn previously, which Lufthansa attributes to a number of factors including the mild winter in Europe.

In the quarter ending in March, the amount of passengers using Lufthansa's service edged up very slightly to 21.74 million, an increase of 0.5%.

The company has kept its targeted adjusted operating profit for 2014 at €1.7bn-€1.9bn, despite the three day pilot strike in April, which caused almost 4,000 flights to be cancelled. Strikes have cost the German airline €70m in lost profits this year.

"Despite this good performance, analysts believe that the share price has even more potential," Lufthansa said in a statement.