Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH) generated 3.1% growth in passenger numbers, to 17.8 million, in the first nine months of 2012. This improvement was primarily driven by international traffic.
In addition, the shopping centre continued the positive trend of the first half year, generating a 12.3% increase in revenue thanks to a number of new shops, restaurants and bars that have opened in the course of the year. The spend per passenger also increased, “thanks to a strongly improved shop and brand mix”.
Furthermore, revenue benefited from the full-year effect of the full occupancy of all space at the shopping centre being leased, and the introduction of “new and improved concepts”.
According to the operator, revenue was positively affected in all business areas, but was primarily driven by the duty free and speciality shops. “The development towards greater product and price differentiation will continue in 2012, when passengers will be presented with new food and beverage concepts such as the newly opened MASH steak house and Le Sommelier Bistro, which is expected to open in December 2012,” says CPH.
The large duty free store and the smaller satellite stores in Piers A, B, C as well as the arrivals hall will be refurbished according to a completely new concept with more events and in-store tasting coherent with a stronger Danish profile. The concept is one of the reasons why German-based Gebr. Heinemann won the contract to continue operating the stores at Copenhagen Airport in a competitive bidding process in the spring of 2012.
[Above Lto R:Vice President Sales and Marketing for Copenhagen Airports Carsten Nørland, Gebr Heinemann Executive Director Raoul Spanger, and Copenhagen Airports A/S CEO Thomas Woldbye]
“We must constantly create and develop great travel experiences for our passengers. Only by having satisfied passengers can we retain Copenhagen Airport’s international ranking. To that end, we work closely with Gebr. Heinemann to create world-class duty- and tax-free shopping facilities,” said Carsten Nørland, VP, Sales and Marketing for Copenhagen Airport.
INTERCONTINENTIAL TRAFFIC +12.9%
The airport operator largely attributes the nine-month growth to the ‘historically busy summer season’. Revenue increased by 5.5%, and profit before tax excluding one-off items was up by 13% to DKK 925.3 million (US$159 million), driven by higher passenger numbers, growing revenues from the shopping centre and lower financial costs.
“We are firmly committed to strengthening our position as the northern European transport hub, making significant investments in expanding Copenhagen Airport and developing our international traffic,” said Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
“These investments have contributed to the 12.9% increase in intercontinental traffic in the first nine months of the year, primarily driven by the new SAS service to Shanghai and increased capacity on the services to Middle East destinations Dubai, Doha and Bahrain.”
Overall, the number of international passengers was up by 5.8% year to date, and the approximately 900,000 additional international passengers show that CPH’s World Class Hub strategy launched in March was the right move.
Transfer traffic also continued to grow, with 8.5% more transfer passengers travelling through Copenhagen Airport in the first nine months of the year.
Domestic traffic was down 20.3% year-on-year. However, domestic traffic began to stabilise after the bankruptcy of Cimber Sterling in May as the effect of the new domestic routes opened by SAS, Norwegian and DAT began to show.
CPH SELLS 49% STAKE IN NIAL
After the end of Q3, CPH has sold its 49% ownership interest in NIAL Group Ltd., the parent company of Newcastle International Airport. A part of CPH’s strategy since 2007 was to focus its activities on the development and operation of the airport in Copenhagen.
This is also described in the World Class Hub strategy, presented on 1 March 2012. The divestment of NIAL completes the strategy and will be recognised the financial statements for Q4 2012.
Based on the expected traffic programme for 2012, the total number of passengers is expected to increase. Traffic, however, could be adversely impacted by the continuing economic uncertainty in the Eurozone and any closure of routes due to airline reductions. The forecast is retained despite airline bankruptcies during the year.
The increase in passenger numbers is expected to have a positive impact on total revenue. Operating costs are expected to be higher than in 2011, primarily due to the forecast passenger growth, cost inflation, and increased depreciation charges as a result of the higher level of investment with a focus on continuing growth.
Overall, profit before tax is expected to be higher than in 2011, when excluding one-off items, including the gain from the divestment of NIAL.
Under the charges agreement, CPH must invest an average of DKK 500 million annually, but CPH expects to invest significantly more than this in 2012. CPH will also be investing in other commercial projects for the benefit of airlines and passengers.