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Copenhagen Airport back in profit after busy spring 2023


Copenhagen Airport recorded a profit before tax of DKK167 million in a busy second quarter to reverse its loss before tax from the winter months.

As a result, the Danish airport posted an overall profit before tax for the first half year of DKK108 million, during which time it handled 12.4 million passengers – 31% up on the same period last year and just 14% below pre-COVID levels.

Operator, Copenhagen Airports, called its half-yearly performance “satisfactory, given the circumstances”, noting that it was ready for a busy summer.

“Given the circumstances with a demanding restart after COVID-19, it is a satisfactory half-year result. However, the absolute level is not high enough considering the necessary investments and our inevitably rising costs,” says Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airport.

Revenue for the first half year ended at DKK 1,898 million, for a 22% increase on the first half of 2022.

Woldbye notes: “The good news is that organisationally, CPH is back at full strength, ready and able to deliver high-quality service and performance to passengers, airlines and customers.

“By June, we have taken on 372 employees, and about half of them were re-hires. In other words, we were prepared for a busy summer period.”

Since the low point during the COVID-19 crisis two years ago, the 800 companies operating in and around the airport have re-hired more than 3,600 employees, so today, they employ a total of about 16,500 people.

Investments for DKK1.6 billion

In April 2023, CPH concluded negotiations with the company’s lenders for new credit facilities of DKK7 billion, securing the refinancing due in August 2023.

In addition, a solution on the future charges that airlines pay to use the airport from 2024 onwards must be reached this year.

Securing a solution, it says, will provide predictability on the business for both the airport and the airlines, as well as create a common platform for the cooperation on e.g. route development and operational efficiency.

This year, CPH expects to invest DKK1.6 billion, primarily to develop the airside terminal area between Piers B and C with, among other things, much more space for passengers and passport control and more than doubling the baggage reclaim area in Terminal 3.

Worth some DKK5 billion, this is the airport’s largest project in recent times. The initial phases of the project are slated for completion in 2027.

“However, we’re facing the challenge that it has become much more expensive today to run and develop the airport due to increased salary costs, tightened regulatory requirements as well as interest expenses and repayment of our debt,” says Woldbye.

“With that in mind, we must continue to run the airport as efficiently as possible and consistently work to keep expenditures low.”

Green transition well under way

According to COP, work on the green transition, both at the airport and throughout the aviation industry, is also well under way, although the COVID-19 crisis was a hard blow.

“Reducing the carbon footprint is mandatory for the entire aviation industry,” Woldbye is quick to point out.

For COP, achieving this goal means, among other things, the installation of even more solar panels, substantial savings of 3% annually on energy and heating, investments in the electricity charging structure and replacement of petrol and diesel-driven equipment and vehicles with electrified counterparts.

In the spring, CPH was reached highest level of recognition in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme for its work on reducing carbon emissions.

Route network close to being restored

As for the airlines’ routes in and out of Copenhagen Airport, COP insists that “work restore the network is well under way”.

Indeed, this summer, travellers have 177 direct routes to 52 countries to choose from. That is quite close to the numbers of 2019, when Copenhagen Airport had direct routes to 196 airports in 59 countries.

“Once again, people in both Denmark and southern Sweden have plenty of opportunities to travel from Copenhagen – and Denmark is again open to the millions of foreign tourists and business travellers who will be visiting us this year,” says Woldbye.

According to the airport, on average, more than seven in ten seats available are sold, and as such, the load factor is back at pre-2019 levels.

On the long-haul routes out of Europe, destinations in Asia and China are still lagging, as more than half of the passengers are still not back. Traffic is busy on the route network to North America and close to being restored.

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