During the first nine months of the 2023 fiscal year (corresponding to the calendar year in Germany), the Fraport Group delivered a strong performance with key operating figures exceeding 2019 levels. The Group result (net profit) reached 357.0 million euros in the first nine months, buoyed by traffic growth across the Group’s airports. This positive performance was driven, in particular, by a strong third quarter – with revenue, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and net profit achieving new records. In view of this development, Fraport confirms its outlook for the full 2023 fiscal year, expecting to reach the upper range of the given forecasts.
Fraport CEO Dr. Stefan Schulte said: “We had a strong third quarter. As an important milestone, our actively managed Group airports outside Germany saw combined passenger traffic fully recover to 2019 levels during this period. The 14 Greek gateways and Antalya Airport were driving this trend by setting new all-time passenger records. Our home-base Frankfurt Airport also performed well, with passenger volumes in the third quarter of 2023 reaching 86 percent of 2019 levels. FRA is thus overcoming the crisis faster than other major German airports. Backed by the ongoing traffic recovery, our financial performance also significantly improved. During the third quarter, Fraport’s revenue, EBITDA and net profit achieved new all-time highs. This is an important factor as it will help us continue to gradually reduce the debt incurred during the pandemic.”
Third quarter of 2023: key figures reach historic highs
Supported by the rebound in passenger traffic during the summer months, Group revenue grew by 17.0 percent to 1,083.3 million euros in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, from 925.6 million euros in Q3/2022 (Note: in each case, the IFRIC 12 adjustment applies for revenues resulting from construction and expansion measures at Fraport’s subsidiaries worldwide). The third-quarter Group revenue as per IFRIC 12 exceeded the respective Group revenue from pre-crisis 2019 by 11.4 percent (Q3/2019: 972.8 million euros). Group EBITDA improved to 478.1 million euros in the third quarter (Q3/2022: 420.3 million euros; Q3/2019: 436.7 million euros). The Group result or net profit jumped by 120.8 million euros to a new record high of 272.0 million euros (Q3/2022: 151.2 million euros; Q3/2019: 248.6 million euros).
First nine months of 2023: key operating indicators exceed 2019 levels
In the first nine months (9M) of fiscal 2023, Group revenue as per IFRIC 12 rose by 494.5 million euros to 2,631.9 million euros (9M/2022: 2,137.4 million euros; 9M/2019: 2,486.7 million euros). The 9M-revenue for the first time includes proceeds from aviation security fees, totaling 167.0 million euros. These were levied by Fraport after assuming responsibility for passenger security screening at Frankfurt Airport with the start of 2023. Group EBITDA improved by 15.8 percent year-on-year to 959.5 million euros in the first nine months (9M/2022: 828.6 million euros; 9M/2019: 948.2 million euros). The Group result (net profit) improved noticeably by 258.9 million euros to 357.0 million euros. Last year’s nine-month Group result of 98.1 million euros was negatively impacted by a full 163.3 million euros write-off of loan receivables from Thalita Trading Ltd. in connection with the investment at Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St. Petersburg.
Passenger demand remains high
In the first nine months of 2023, passenger traffic at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) increased by 23.9 percent year-on-year to around 44.5 million travelers. Demand was particularly high for traditional holiday destinations within Europe and long-haul flights. High-frequency traffic to/from North America continued to rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels in the first nine months. The number of passengers from China also increased steadily. While during 2022 passenger numbers exceeded the daily mark of 185,000 on only five days, FRA served over 200,000 passengers on many more days in the current year to date. As a result, FRA’s passenger traffic in 9M/2023 amounted to about 82 percent of the levels seen in pre-crisis 2019.
Referring to Frankfurt Airport’s operational performance during the 2023 summer peak, CEO Schulte commented: “We have made considerable progress in operational processes. During the summer peak, operations in Frankfurt remained largely stable – even on the 25 busiest travel days so far with over 200,000 passengers. The use of latest-generation technology accelerated processes noticeably, particularly in the terminals. We have now equipped the security checkpoints at Frankfurt Airport with a total of 19 CT scanners, reducing the waiting time for passengers at these checkpoints to almost zero. By the spring of 2024, a total of 40 security lanes in Terminals 1 and 2 will be equipped with the innovative technology. Moreover, we have been expanding biometric options along the travel chain to passengers of all airlines – thus further speeding up and simplifying the passenger journey through the airport.”
Cargo throughput (comprising airfreight and airmail) in Frankfurt declined by 7.5 percent year-on-year in 9M/2023. This was largely due to weak demand for airfreight as a result of the constraints in the global economy.
Fraport’s Group airports worldwide also continued to report passenger growth in the first nine months of 2023. The 14 Greek gateways again led the way, with their nine-month traffic rising by 11.6 percent in 2023 versus pre-pandemic 2019. In the third quarter of 2023, Antalya Airport (AYT) on the Turkish Riviera also surpassed the pre-crisis levels from Q3/2019 by around two percent. Combined traffic at Fraport’s actively managed airports around the globe rebounded to pre-Covid levels in Q3 for the first time since the pandemic.
Outlook: Fraport expects to reach the upper range of FY2023 guidance
For the full year 2023, passenger numbers in Frankfurt are still expected to reach the middle half of the projected range of between at least 80 percent and up to 90 percent of pre-Covid levels seen in 2019, when some 70.6 million passengers traveled via FRA. In view of the positive performance during the first nine months of 2023 and the stable outlook for the fourth quarter, Fraport also confirms the financial guidance as specified in the first-half interim report. Group EBITDA is projected to reach the upper half of the forecast range of between 1,040 million euros and approximately 1,200 million euros. Likewise, the Group result is expected in the upper half of the projected range of between some 300 million euros and 420 million euros.