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Fiscal Year 2015: Fraport Achieves Positive Result Despite Challenging Business Environment
Frankfurt (ots) - 61 Million Passengers Handled at FRA in 2015 - Key Financial Figures Increase Significantly - Moderate Positive Outlook for 2016
The Fraport Group closed fiscal year 2015 successfully with a 2.5 percent rise in passenger traffic - serving 61 million at its Frankfurt Airport (FRA) home base - as well as a significant increase in its key financial figures. Group revenue climbed 8.4 percent year-on-year to EUR2.58 billion (adjusted for IFRIC 12). The Group's operating profit (EBITDA) increased by 7.4 percent to EUR848.8 million, while EBIT climbed by 7.8 percent to EUR520.5 million. The Group result advanced significantly by 18.0 percent to EUR297 million. Operating cash flow also climbed by 28.8 percent to EUR652.2 million, while free cash flow soared even higher by 59.5 percent to EUR393.6 million. After an increase in the dividend for fiscal year 2014, a dividend proposal at the previous year's level of EUR1.35 per share will be made to the Annual General Meeting this year. This corresponds to a dividend payout ratio of 45.1 percent of the Group result attributable to shareholders.
The positive business performance was mainly due to passenger growth at Frankfurt Airport, combined with considerably higher retail and parking revenues. Net retail income per passenger was up EUR0.19 or 5.5 percent year-on-year, rising to EUR3.62 in 2015. Also Fraport AG's global activities outside Frankfurt largely contributed to the noticeable increase in the Group's financial result. This was attributable to the first-time full consolidation of the two new Group subsidiaries, AMU Holding (U.S.A.) and Aerodrom Ljubljana (Slovenia), which had been acquired during the year 2014, as well as the ongoing excellent performance of the Group's Lima Airport subsidiary (Peru), which was additionally boosted by the relative weakness of the euro against the U.S. dollar.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the future Terminal 3 at Frankfurt Airport and the signing of the concession contracts for the operation of 14 regional airports in Greece represented significant events in the past year. Fraport AG's executive board chairman, Dr. Stefan Schulte, said: "The start of construction of the third terminal is an important step towards securing the future viability and competitiveness of Frankfurt Airport in the long term. In Greece, we can make a significant contribution to thriving tourism and additional jobs thanks to our expertise in the development and management of airports. Therefore, we are convinced that by taking over the operation of the Greek airports we are creating a win-win situation both for Greece and Fraport."
CEO Schulte is satisfied with the Group's overall performance in the past fiscal year, but expects "stormier seas" in 2016: "In 2015, we achieved a significant improvement in our key financial figures and cash resources, and thus also in the net-debt-to-equity ratio in our balance sheet. What matters now, however, is the outlook for the future and this is currently characterized by restrained holiday bookings in Germany and significantly declining passenger figures in Turkey as a result of the recent terrorist attacks."
In view of these uncertainties, Fraport anticipates an increase in passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport of between 1 and 3 percent in fiscal year 2016. The Group's operating indicators, EBITDA and EBIT, are expected to be in a range between slightly above the 2015 level and up to EUR30 million higher. Revenue is anticipated to reach up to EUR2.65 billion, while the Group result is expected to be at or slightly above the level of fiscal year 2015. This will depend, in particular, on how the situation develops at the Group's Turkish airport in Antalya. The forecast does not take into account the closing of the transaction for the operation of the regional airports in Greece.
Fraport's international portfolio of airports displayed varying traffic results in 2015. While the airports of Ljubljana (LJU) in Slovenia, Lima (LIM) in Peru, Hanover (HAJ) in northern Germany, and Xi'an (XIY) in central China posted positive growth, the Bulgarian Twin Star airports in Varna (VAR) and Burgas (BOJ) combined, and the airports of Antalya (AYT) in Turkey and St. Petersburg (LED) in Russia recorded decreasing passenger numbers, partly reflecting the political situation in Russia.
Weak global trade and economic difficulties in some industrialized and emerging markets contributed to a 2.6 percent decline in cargo volumes, with 2.1 million metric tons handled at FRA during the reporting period.
Fraport's Four Business Segments:
Aviation: Revenue in the Aviation business segment increased by 4.9 percent to EUR927.3 million, due to passenger growth at Frankfurt Airport and an increase in airport charges. Despite the rise in revenue and higher income from reversals of provisions, segment EBITDA remained at the previous year's level, reaching EUR237.5 million (up 0.3 percent). Segment EBITDA was impacted by a significant rise in expenses due to higher personnel costs and the recognition of a provision for transitional pensions for Airport Fire Department employees. Segment EBIT improved to EUR116.3 million - a slight increase of 0.7 percent.
Retail & Real Estate: The Retail & Real Estate business segment posted a significant increase in revenue of EUR32.5 million (or 7.1 percent) to EUR488.2 million in fiscal year 2015, boosted by additional income in the retail business as a result of higher passenger numbers. In particular, the high share of intercontinental passengers, who tend to spend more while at the airport, had a positive effect on revenue. Other reasons included the depreciation of the euro in relation to other international currencies, income from leasing and parking, and the sale of property in the Mönchhof Logistics Park. Segment EBITDA increased to EUR378.8 million (up 6.3 percent) as a result of higher income, while EBIT grew by 7.3 percent to EUR295.1 million.
Ground Handling: At EUR673.1 million, revenue in the Ground Handling business segment was up 2.6 percent or EUR16.9 million compared to the previous year. Higher passenger numbers, a rise in maximum take-off weights and the increase in infrastructure charges were the main factors behind this growth, which in turn contributed to an increase in segment EBITDA to EUR46.4 million (up 4.7 percent). The decline in EBIT to EUR6.0 million (down 20.0 percent) is partly due to the sale of an equity interest in FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services GmbH.
External Activities & Services: Adjusted for recognizing earnings-neutral capacity investments in connection with the application of IFRIC 12, revenue in the External Activities & Services business segment climbed by 27.7 percent to EUR495.2 million. Reasons included passenger growth at Lima Airport, the first-time consolidation of the two new Group companies AMU Holdings and Aerodrom Ljubljana (acquired during the year 2014), and the currency translation of revenues gained at the Lima Airport subsidiary from U.S. dollars into the Group's standard currency (euro). Segment EBITDA rose significantly by 22.1 percent to EUR186.1 million, while segment EBIT also exceeded the previous year's level, rising to EUR103.1 million (up 21.6 percent).
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