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Business News of Sunday, 30 November 2003

Source: gna

Learn from big companies, small businesses told

Accra, Nov 30, GNA - Growing and successful corporate entities have been asked to choose between remaining small and independent or be part of a bigger whole and share the benefits of experience.

Mr Abdul Aziz Mangera, General Manager of Lufthansa German Airlines, Ghana office said such entities must take advantage of associations and unified bodies with the potential of sharing ideas and experiences that have been gained through successful operations over the years.

"You have to choose between being a small independent body and be overexposed to the vagaries of a highly competitive business environment or choose to be part of a system that enhances your potential and builds you up to meet the changing tastes of the industry."

Mr Mangera was answering a question on whether big airlines do not just come together to squeeze out the small and relatively poor ones at the weekend when he met journalists to discuss Lufthansa's worldwide operations in the country in the past year.

He also outlined the Lufthansa third interim report from January-September.

The Lufthansa boss noted that in the airline industry, a lot of changes take place and within a short time, one must take quick, timely and sane decisions to remain competitive.

Referring to the benefits that Lufthansa has derived from being in Star Alliance, Mr Mangera "said it has brought us a lot of protection and worldwide reach, which we could never have done on our own.

"For instance, we could not have had staff in all the over 800 airports across the world. But within the benefits of the Star Alliance, we get to all these places and people through our partner airlines and I must we are very satisfied with the arrangement."

In the year under review, Mr Mangera said Lufthansa's capacity and cost management, continued to prove highly successful in the third quarter. "This made it possible it possible to post a quarterly operating profit of 200 million euros, he told the Ghana News Agency.

He added that " The cumulative result of nine months is an operating loss of 154 million euros. Between January and September 2002, by contrast, Lufthansa had earned an operating profit of 790 million euros."

He said from January to September, passenger numbers rose by 3.8 per cent to 34.3 million with the volume of available capacity 3.9 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

On the revenue side, Mr Mangera said average yields in passenger business declined by 7.3 per cent and cargo yielded by 4.6 per cent compared with that for ast year.

"Traffic revenue consequently fell during the period under review by 6.2 per cent to 8.5 billion euros."

He said in the third quarter, traffic revenue dropped by just 3.9 per cent just like the second quarter had seen on year-on-year of 10.0 per cent in the wake of the Iraq war and the damming effects of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Cash flow from operating activities over the last nine months was 1.1 billion euros with the gross capital expenditure of 717 million euros again fully funded from cash flow. GNA