Frankfurt (ots) -
Growth in Passenger Traffic, Revenue and Operating Profit -
Dividend of EUR 1.25 to Be Recommended Again - CEO Schulte Provides
Positive Outlook for 2014
Despite a difficult business environment, the Fraport Group successfully met its targets in the 2013 business year - thanks to higher-than-expected growth in passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport and positive development of its key financial figures. Revenue climbed by 4.9 percent to EUR 2.56 billion, while the Group's operating profit (EBITDA - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose to some EUR 880 million, up 3.7 percent. In line with the forecast set out at the beginning of fiscal year 2013, the Group result declined by some EUR 16 million year-on-year to approximately EUR 236 million. This was due, among other things, to the non-recurrence of high one-off gains from the Group's financial asset management achieved in fiscal year 2012.
A dividend of EUR 1.25 per share will again be recommended at the upcoming Fraport AGM (Annual General Meeting) in late May. This would represent a dividend payout ratio of about 52 percent of the Group result attributable to shareholders.
At the Fraport Group's Frankfurt Airport (FRA) home base, passenger figures rose by almost 1 percent (+0.9 percent) to more than 58 million. Cargo traffic at FRA also developed positively, rising by 1.4 percent to almost 2.1 million metric tons. Overall, Fraport's majority-owned Group airports welcomed more than 103 million passengers in 2013 - an increase of 4.1 percent.
Commenting on the Group's business performance in 2013, Fraport AG executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte said: "Despite difficult framework conditions, our company performed well during the 2013 business year. After a difficult start with declining passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport, the favorable summer season and positive booking numbers during the last months of the year provided the necessary momentum to obtain a positive overall result. Our international Group airports also performed strongly again in 2013. In this segment, we paved the way in 2013 for future organic growth by opening new terminals in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as in Varna and Burgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. All three airports are now provided with the necessary capacity to accommodate the expected traffic growth."
In the Aviation business segment, passenger growth and higher revenue from airport charges resulted in a continuous increase in the segment's revenue to approximately EUR 845 million, up 2.6 percent. Segment EBITDA grew by 1.7 percent to about EUR 205 million.
Fraport's Retail & Real Estate business segment scored a 3.6 percent increase in revenue to EUR 469 million, with EBITDA rising by 4.6 percent to some EUR 351 million. The key performance indicator "net retail revenue per passenger" improved from EUR 3.32 to EUR 3.60.
Revenue in the Ground Handling business segment edged up by 1.1 percent to just over EUR 656 million. The segment's EBITDA also grew by 1.1 percent, to some EUR 38 million.
The External Activities & Services business segment continued to contribute positively to the Group's overall result - reflecting the ongoing growth trend particularly at Fraport's Group airports in Lima, Peru, and Antalya, Turkey. Revenue in this segment jumped 14.4 percent to EUR 591 million, while the segment's EBITDA increased by 4.4 percent to some EUR 286 million.
Confirming the company's outlook for the current year, Fraport CEO Schulte said: "The air transport industry in Europe continues to operate in a highly competitive environment, and we expect 2014 to be another challenging year also for Fraport. Nevertheless, we are positive about the outlook for our company in the current business year. We expect passenger figures to rise by two to three percent at our Frankfurt Airport home base and the dynamic trend to continue also at our other Group airports."
Due to a change in accounting standards effective January 1, 2014, it is no longer permitted to recognize interests in joint ventures using proportionate consolidation. This change will particularly affect Fraport's interest in Antalya Airport. From 2014, Antalya Airport's net profit will be recognized in the financial result within Fraport's consolidated income statement. This will have an impact on the Group's reported financial figures for fiscal year 2014.
Based on the traffic outlook, Fraport expects Group revenue to rise to up to about EUR 2.45 billion in 2014 - an increase compared to 2013, when a value of approximately EUR 2.38 billion was achieved, if adjusted to the new accounting standards for comparison purposes. The Group EBITDA is expected to reach a level between approximately EUR 780 million and some EUR 800 million in 2014 (adjusted value for 2013: around EUR 733 million), while the Group EBIT is forecast to reach up to approximately EUR 500 million (adjusted value for 2013: EUR 439 million).
Thus, the EBITDA and EBIT outlook for 2014 exceeds the value reached in 2013 (if adjusted for comparison purposes) by around EUR 40 million to EUR 60 million. Revenue is forecast to rise by approximately EUR 70 million on the adjusted 2013 value. The Group result is not affected by the new accounting standards and is expected to see a slight increase compared to fiscal year 2013.
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