Fraport raises passenger forecast for 2022
Fraport presented figures for the second quarter.
Photo: Silas Stein/DPA
Frankfurt Airport is still no longer buzzing like it was before the Corona crisis. But returns are more dynamic than expected. Now the results of the Ukraine war are disappointing gains.
08/09/2022, 10:25 am
Frankfurt am Main. Despite the chaos of the past few weeks, significantly more travelers are using Frankfurt Airport again. The listed operator Fraport raised its annual forecast from 45 to 50 million guests on Tuesday. Previously, 39 to 46 million passengers were expected for the largest German hub. The pre-Corona year 2019 set a record with over 70 million passengers.
In June, the 5-million-month mark was exceeded again for the first time and thus reached more than 75 percent of the pre-crisis level. However, lack of handling led to long waiting times, lost luggage and flight cancellations. “This very dynamic upturn demands a lot from us operationally and repeatedly leads to unsatisfactory clarification of terms,” explained Fraport boss Stefan Schulte. We are still a long way from meeting our quality standards.
However, the measures taken worked and led to stable and regulated operation on a “large scale”, said Schulte. In July, in addition to scheduled flight cancellations, a one-day Verdi warning strike by Lufthansa ground staff weighed on the numbers, which according to preliminary information only reached 72.5 percent of the pre-crisis figure.
Freport recorded a drop of 11.5 percent in freight traffic to Frankfurt in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. The closed airspace over Russia and the zero-Covid strategy in China are having a negative impact here.
Special effects affect the business
Two special effects also have an impact on profit expectations. Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from the sale of the shares in Xi’an Airport in China are expected to increase to EUR 400 to 520 million (previously: EUR 320 to 440 million). At the same time, however, Fraport has completely written off its commitment at the airport in St. Petersburg due to sanctions against Russia. The bottom line is that consolidated profit will only reach 0 to 100 million euros instead of 50 to 150 million.
From a balance sheet perspective, Fraport has thus lost its claim of EUR 163.3 million against Thalita Trading Ltd., which holds a stake in the airport operating company in St. Petersburg. Schulte explained that price adjustments should not be confused with the sale of shares. “We fully comply with our demands. Contractually, the sale is excluded until 2025.”
In the second quarter, Fraport surprisingly increased its sales by 90 percent to 809 million euros compared to the same period of the previous year, which was plagued by the pandemic. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) rose by 14 percent to almost 338 million euros, exceeding average analyst expectations. However, profit for shareholders fell by more than 30 percent to 59 million euros due to the write-down in Russia.
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