Shopping revenue soars in 9m as Copenhagen Airport returns to profit

By Luke Barras-hill |

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) tilted back into the black in the third quarter as shopping revenues surged 231% in the first nine months of 2022 year-on-year to DKK 487 million/US$65 million.

Profit of DKK 234 million/$31.2 million before tax in Q3 marks the first time since 2020 that CPH has turned a profit after borrowing DKK 2.2bn to maintain and invest in the airport in the first two years of the Covid-19 crisis.

Non-aeronautical revenue totalled DKK 499m for the period, a 75% jump versus Q3 2021.

Concession revenue in Q3 totalled DKK 327m, a rise of 92% compared with Q3 2021.

Revenue for the quarter increased 71% compared with the same period on 2021 to reach DKK 1,071m.

Nine-month results

Profit before tax registered DKK 221m in the first nine months of this year, a result that Copenhagen Airports A/S CEO Thomas Woldbye labelled as ‘satisfactory’ in a statement.

The airport handled 16.4 million passengers for the period, an increase of 216% compared with the first nine months of 2021.

Non-aeronautical revenue grew 119% versus the same period in 2021 to reach DKK 1,240m.

Heinemann Tax & Duty Free at Copenhagen Airport.

Concession revenue from the shopping centre amounted to DKK 487m for the first nine months of 2022, an increase of DKK 340m compared with the same period of last year.

“Most of the specialty shops, tax free and concessionaires in the restaurant and convenience segment were open for passengers during all nine months of 2022, whereas they were mostly closed during Q1 2021 due to the pandemic and had only partially reopened in the second and third quarters of 2021,” read an announcement to the stock exchange today (7 November).

Nine-month revenue rose 144% year-0n-year to DKK 2,621m, but remained 21% down on 2019.

Click to enlarge. Source: Copenhagen Airports.

The airport maintains that its current debt levels represent a ‘challenge’ to future investment.

“In the first two, extremely challenging, years of the pandemic, we accumulated a loss before tax just short of DKK 1.5 billion,” said Woldbye, who went on to acknowledge that repaying the DKK 2.2 billion in borrowing at the same time as investing in a sustainable airport operation and maintaining CPH’s status as an important northern European air traffic hub represents ‘a very big challenge’.

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, Copenhagen Airports A/S.

Pax forecast 22 million in full year

Woldbye emphasised that the airport must continue to be competitive on pricing, but added: “It is difficult to see how we can avoid becoming more expensive, if we are to be able to invest and repay the debt.”

Investments for the year are expected to be in the region of approximately DKK 950-1,000 million.

“We still have ambitions to invest in the airport in the coming years, however, that will depend on our ability to do so,” he said. “Regardless of the crisis, we have so far been able to continue our ambitious project to extend the airside terminal area, for example to create extra space for the baggage reclaim area, airport travellers and passport control.”

CPH confirmed in its stock market announcement an updated passenger forecast for full-year 2022 of approximately 22 million passengers.

Profit before tax is projected to fall within the range of DKK 125-225 million this year.

An outlook statement read: “Passenger numbers, however, are dependent on the development in current macroeconomic and geopolitical factors such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, the high inflation rates worldwide, and the hike in energy prices. All factors that may affect the appetite for travelling negatively.

“Additionally, continued waves of new Covid-19 variants in the fall/early winter may result in reimposed travel restrictions, which may also adversely affect passenger numbers.

“The cost base for the remainder of the year is largely fixed and predictable, however factors such as the inflation and the high volatility in energy prices may have a significant effect on our estimate for the profit before tax for 2022. Revenue is mostly passenger driven and actual numbers may therefore be affected by the above factors.”


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