Over the past few decades, the main focus in dairy cow breeding has been on maximising milk yield per cow. This has led to a tremendous increase in the lactation performance, but more and more, dairy farmers are faced with severe declines in fitness of the animals and therefore reduced longevity. This is not only questionable from a sustainability perspective, but also from an economic point of view. The aim of this study was to highlight the economic importance of lifetime performance in organic dairy cattle husbandry. To this end, performance and reproductive data of Austrian organic Simmental (n=44,976) and Holstein (n=9,564) dairy cows were grouped according to longevity and lifetime performance and analysed by applying a bio-economic model. Profit per year was calculated by taking into account feed, replacement, veterinary, insemination, building occupancy and factor costs, as well as revenues from milk, calves, culled cows and subsidies. Two farm scenarios were modelled and assessed: limited milk quota and limited stocking rate as well as different market situations (abolition of milk quota, +/-20% of concentrate and milk prices). Simmental cows reached maximum annual milk yield in the 5th, Holstein cows in the 4th lactation. Overall costs declined with increasing longevity, due to dropping replacement costs and rose with increasing milk yield, due to higher feed costs. Annual profit was influenced considerably by milk yield and longevity. For both breeds it reached its peak in the 6th lactation. Results indicate that on a farm level, short-lived animals need substantially higher annual milk yields than long-lived animals to achieve equal annual profits. The market scenarios applied show an increasing importance of longevity in situations of increasing economic pressure (+20% of concentrate and -20% of milk price). It has been clearly proven that extending longevity allows lower milk yield levels without decreasing profitability.