Fraport Group Interim Report –Third Quarter and Nine Months 2017: Strong Business Performance Supported by Significant Growth in Traffic at All Group Airports
Revenue, EBITDA, and earnings see significant double-digit growth – Frankfurt Airport achieves solid growth – Antalya Airport back on track
The Fraport Group closed the first nine months (ending September 30) of the 2017 financial year with a significant 13.7 percent rise in Group revenue to €2.23 billion. At Frankfurt Airport (FRA), growth was fueled, in particular, by higher revenue resulting from the noticeable jump in passenger traffic, higher proceeds from the retail business and security services, as well as the sale of property sites. In addition, the Group’s international business contributed considerably to revenue growth, primarily due to the operational takeover of the 14 Greek airports, as well as to revenue gains at the Group’s Lima Airport company.
Operating earnings (EBITDA) increased by 19.4 percent to €807.7 million, while the Group result grew by 43.3 percent to €342.3 million. The reason for this was the improved financial result (minus €65.6 million compared to minus €79.0 million in the same period of 2016), mainly due to the Group’s Antalya subsidiary which posted significantly better earnings (plus €21.2 million compared to minus €8.8 million in the first nine months of 2016, on the basis of Fraport’s 50 percent share). Operating cash flow also rose markedly by 37.3 percent year-on-year to €687.4 million. Free cash flow developed similarly, expanding by 25.1 percent to €388.0 million.
Thus, Fraport AG’s executive board chairman, Dr. Stefan Schulte, delivered a correspondingly positive assessment of the Group’s business performance:
After the first nine months of the year, we are absolutely on course to achieve our annual targets. The solid performance delivered by our Group airports made a particularly important contribution to the rising result. With the successful operational takeover of the 14 Greek airports and the double-win of two airport concessions at Fortaleza and Porto Alegre in Brazil, we are systematically expanding our global airport business. Furthermore, we are also achieving solid growth in Frankfurt again, where we made the necessary strategic decisions at the right time.
During January to September 2017, Frankfurt Airport welcomed about 48.9 million passengers – representing a 4.6 percent jump year-on-year and a new traffic record for this nine-month period. A new daily traffic record was also reached on September 29, when 225,801 passengers passed through the Frankfurt Airport global hub. Cargo volume (airfreight + airmail, excluding transit cargo) also developed positively with a growth of 5.1 percent to 1.63 million metric tons. Without exception, the international Group airports also generated strong passenger traffic in the reporting period – with some registering double-digit growth.
On the basis of traffic development to date, Fraport’s executive board expects passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport to grow by about five percent for the entire 2017. Following the completion of the first nine months of the year, the executive board reaffirms the company’s forecast for net assets, financial position and results of operations in full-year 2017 – especially because start-up costs for Fraport’s two new airports in Brazil will be booked mainly in the fourth quarter. Accordingly, Fraport expects Group revenue (including the new Greek airports), to reach up to €2.9 billion, with EBITDA in the range of about €980 million to €1,020 million, and the Group result in the range of €310 million to €350 million.
Here is a summary of the results for Fraport’s four business segments:
Aviation: Segment revenue rose by 4.0 percent to €721.0 million in the first nine months of 2017. Besides the growth in passenger traffic at FRA, this segment was positively impacted by higher proceeds from airport fees (rose by an average of 1.9 percent as of January 1, 2017), and higher income from security services. Segment EBITDA increased by 4.6 percent to €201.3 million, despite additional personnel expenses. Lower depreciation and amortization resulted in segment EBIT of €113.7 million, up 15.4 percent year-on-year.
Retail & Real Estate: Segment revenue improved by 6.3 percent to €394.2 million in the reporting period. This was due mainly to higher proceeds from property sales and the increased passenger volume at FRA, which had a positive effect on retail revenue and car-parking income. Net retail income per passenger decreased by 2.1 percent year-on-year to €3.31 (previous year: €3.38). Factors contributing to the decline in indicator included the depreciation of various currencies against the euro, as well as the changing passenger mix at FRA. Passengers flying on European routes tend to spend less than passengers on intercontinental routes – with European traffic growing particularly strongly at FRA. But in total, retail revenue grew further. Segment EBITDA grew slightly by 2.2 percent to €288.2 million, while segment EBIT climbed by 3.2 percent to €225.6 million.
Ground Handling: In the first three quarters of 2017, this segment posted a slight 0.9 percent gain in revenue to €482.6 million, due to higher income from Ground Services at Frankfurt Airport. Personnel costs rose as a result of pay-scale increases and higher provisions for transforming the personnel structure. As a result, segment EBITDA fell by 15.1 percent to €38.1 million, while segment EBIT dropped by a noticeable 45.2 percent to €8.5 million.
External Activities & Services: Segment revenue surged by 51.2 percent to €631.0 million in the first nine months of 2017, driven particularly by Fraport Greece (up €181.4 million) and the Group’s operation in Lima, Peru (up €19.7 million). Despite rising expenses, segment EBITDA saw a significant increase of 77.8 percent to €280.1 million. Increased depreciation and amortization, which partly resulted from Fraport Greece and Fraport U.S.A., led to segment EBIT of €192.4 million – growth of 97.9 percent.
The complete Q3/9M 2017 Interim Release is available on Fraport AG’s website.