2011 was a difficult year altogether on the stock market. Although stock market performance was fairly stable in the first six months, the second half-year saw sharp losses in the wake of worsening sovereign debt crises in Europe and the USA and the related recessionary risks. The DAX too registered a rise of 6.7 per cent in the first half-year before shedding 20.0 per cent of its value in the second, resulting in a performance for the full year of –14.7 per cent.
Even more severe losses for airline shares
In the airline sector the losses were even greater. Contrary to the general market trend, airline shares even came under pressure in the first half-year due to the high oil price and one-off events like the earthquake disaster in Japan and political unrest in the Arab world.
As the airlines react particularly sensitively to economic variations, the repeated revision of economic forecasts and increasing fears of a recession caused share prices to fall further in the second half-year.
Over the course of the full year the Lufthansa share lost 43.8 per cent to close on 31 December 2011 at EUR 9.19. While Lufthansa outperformed its competitors substantially in the first half-year, in the second half-year the differences between airlines played a much smaller role in investment decisions, as the uncertain economic environment caused investors to avoid the entire sector.
Including the dividend payment for the financial year 2010, the total shareholder return on the Lufthansa share came to –40.2 per cent. This loss was less severe than for the direct competitors Air France-KLM (–70.9 per cent) and IAG (–48.3 per cent).
Lufthansa was the only European network airline to pay a dividend in 2011 and therefore to let its shareholders share directly in the previous year’s economic success. The dividend yield was 3.7 per cent, based on the closing price for 2010.