Half year results show better times for Copenhagen Airport and Fraport Group
Copenhagen Airport and the Fraport Group have become the latest airport operators to post improved results for the first half of 2022.
Denmark’s capital city airport reports that eight out of ten passengers are back, it has taken on an extra 500 staff to cope with rising demand, and that it is close to breaking even financially after a busy Spring.
While the Fraport Group notes that its revenues are “noticeably up” – by 66% to be precise – as Frankfurt Airport and its global network of airports have been buoyed by rising traffic levels.
Copenhagen bouncing back
Its monthly passenger numbers trebled in the first six months of 2022, from 821,000 travellers in January to almost 2.3 million in June. A total of 9.4 million passengers have passed through the terminals at Copenhagen Airport during the first half of 2022.
“The airport has begun to look like its old self during early summer with daily passenger figures of 70,000 to 85,000 and 600 to 700 departures and arrivals on 240 routes,” enthuses CEO, Thomas Woldbye.
“We can tell from both our operations and our books that there is a pent-up appetite for travel whether for leisure or business”.
Revenue for the second quarter landed at DKK972 million, a 276% improvement on the same period of 2021. Revenue for the first six months of 2022 was DKK1,550 million, but still 26% less than for the same period of 2019, the last ordinary year pre-COVID.
The sharp rise in activity during the spring produced a profit before tax of DKK159 million for the second quarter. Combined with the loss before tax of DKK171 million for the first quarter, the overall result for the first half of the year ended with a slight loss of DKK12 million before tax.
“Copenhagen Airport is now very close to its financial break-even point. This is great news after the worst crisis ever for the airport, but we are not out of the woods yet, and unfortunately break-even does not allow us to invest in the future,” notes Woldbye.
However, the airport is quick to point out that the combined impact of rising inflation levels, war in the Ukraine, new COVID-19 variants, and “general global uncertainty” continues to be a challenge.
Better times for Fraport Group
The lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions has proved the catalyst for a huge upturn in traffic levels across the Fraport Group’s network of airports.
It reports that passenger numbers at some of Fraport’s Greek airports serving holiday destinations – including Rhodes, Santorini and Kerkyra on the island of Corfu – even exceeded 2019 pre-crisis passenger levels during the first six months of 2022.
Supported by the overall rise in travel demand, Fraport’s Group revenue rose by 66.3% to €1,348.5 million in the January-to-June period of the current business year 2022.
Fraport CEO Dr Stefan Schulte stated: “Since March, we have been experiencing a strong upward trend in passenger traffic across our group because people are able and eager to travel once again. At Frankfurt Airport, we are now expecting between 45 million and 50 million passengers for the full year 2022.
“Our key operating financial figures have also improved – even when adjusting for last year’s positive one-off effects such as the reimbursement we received for maintaining Frankfurt Airport’s operations during the lockdown, as well as the pandemic compensation obtained in Greece.
“The main factors supporting this favourable development included the strong performance from the airports in our international portfolio and the positive contribution resulting from the divestiture of our Xi’an investment.
“Nevertheless, we are still far from reaching the levels seen in 2019.”
Nearly 21 million passengers passed through Fraport’s home-base Frankfurt Airport (FRA) in the first half of the year. While this was still 38% below the traffic volume achieved in pre-pandemic 2019, the figure represents a growth rate of 220% compared to the same period last year.
And for the first time since the start of the pandemic, FRA welcomed almost five million passengers in a single month in June 2022 – which surpassed 75% of the traffic registered in the same month of the 2019 record year.
“The strong and dynamic recovery in passenger traffic poses some major operational challenges for us. Unfortunately, this also results in recurrent delays,” noted Schulte, referring to the present situation in Frankfurt.
“Nevertheless, with the start of the summer school vacations in Germany, we have been able to maintain stable and reliable operations. This underscores the effectiveness of the measures that we have implemented in Frankfurt, in cooperation with our partners. However, there is still a way to go until we will fully meet our own quality requirements again.”
Despite the more optimistic traffic figures, the Group’s financial result were down in the first half of 2022, principally down to Fraport AG writing off a €163.3 million loan owed to it by Thalita Trading Ltd, the company that holds Fraport’s minority stake in the operator of St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport in Russia.
Schulte says: “In view of the further development of sanctions related to Russia’s war against Ukraine, we have fully written off this receivable loan. At the same time, we are fully maintaining our claims related to the loan.
“The write-off does not imply a divestiture, since, under the current concession agreement, a sale of our stake in Pulkovo continues to be excluded until 2025.”
Against this background, Group EBT fell to minus €108.9 million in the first six months of 2022 (6M 2021: €19.9 million). The Group result or net profit decreased to minus €53.1 million (6M 2021: €15.4 million).
After conclusion of the first half of 2022, Fraport’s executive board is revising the full-year passenger outlook for Frankfurt Airport upwards. Germany’s largest aviation hub is now expected to welcome about 45 million to 50 million passengers in 2022 – up from 39 million to 46 million.
Accounting for the positive traffic trend and two significant one-off effects, Fraport is also adjusting the outlook for some of the Group’s key financial figures. Specifically, EBITDA for the full year is now expected to reach a higher range of between about €850 million and €970 million, following the conclusion of the Xi’an divestiture.
Correspondingly, Group EBIT is now projected to reach between approximately €400 million and €520 million. In contrast, Fraport is revising the previous outlook for the full-year Group result (net profit) downward to a range of between about €0 and €100 million, due to the full write-down of the loan receivable from Thalita Trading Ltd.