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Lufthansa returns to profit in 2012 thanks to equity sales, cancels dividend

FRANKFURT – German airline Lufthansa says it made €990 million ($1.3 billion) net profit last year but cancelled its dividend payment to shareholders and said it would close sites and merge office functions.

The net profit compares to a loss of €13 million from 2011. But the improvement came mostly from the sale of equity investments, not better earnings from its business.

CEO Christoph Franz said Tuesday the company needs to “perform even better.”

Lufthansa said it would merge finance, purchasing and human resources activities and close its head office in Cologne, which has a staff of 365, by the end of 2017.

The company has already announced it needs to drop 3,500 office jobs and move some European routes to its low-cost airline Germanwings.

The company releases full earnings March 14.