FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> 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," Chief Executive Christoph Franz told journalists 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 2.3 billion euros (2 billion pounds) 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 percent to 524 million euros as the price of jet fuel rose and it spent money on measures to rein in costs and boost earnings.
Excluding restructuring costs of 160 million euros, the programme's contribution to earnings was 618 million euros in 2012. That figure will rise to 740 million euros this year.
Lufthansa sees net profit falling this year after it swung to a profit of 990 million euros from a year-earlier loss of 13 million euros thanks to a 623 million euro book gain from shares in Amadeus IT Holding.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Victoria Bryan)