A strong summer ensures passenger record at Copenhagen Airport

The mediocre weather in Denmark this summer was a factor in more than 8 million people travelling through Copenhagen Airport in the third quarter. 

A total of 22,482,401 people travelled through Copenhagen Airport in the first nine months of the year. In the third quarter alone, there were 8,461,576 passengers, which is the highest quarterly figure in the airport’s history. Passenger growth in the first nine months of the year was 1.6%.

“The development seen at the start of the year continued over the summer,” says Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S. “More Danes and people from southern Sweden went abroad on holiday, and many people, particularly from southern Europe and the USA, decided to spend more days’ holiday here in Denmark than in previous years. Both factors have contributed to sustained growth compared to last summer. We’ve worked hard in recent years to attract new long-haul routes, and this year we’ve recorded 6% more passengers specifically on these routes. Most recently, Air India opened a direct route to Delhi in September, and Cathay Pacific and SAS have announced that they will start flights to Hong Kong and Beirut respectively from the spring."

The growth in passenger numbers meant an increase in revenue. Since 1 April 2017, the hotel operation has been recognised on a net basis due to the new operator agreement with Nordic Choice. Adjusted for the effect of this, underlying revenue increased by 4.1%. Profit before tax was DKK 1,301.3 million, equivalent to growth of 2.6%.

On this basis, Copenhagen Airports A/S is maintaining its 2017 outlook for profit before tax, excluding one-off items, in the range of DKK 1,600-1,700 million.

Growth in the non-aeronautical business

Increasing passenger numbers led to growth in the non-aeronautical part of the business, including the shopping centre and parking.

Revenue in the shopping centre was up 8.1%, which is mainly due to increased revenue from restaurants and cafés, while parking contributed 2.6%.

“Seven out of ten passengers expect to be able to get a decent cup of coffee or something good to eat while they’re at the airport. That’s why it’s important for us to offer the right selection of food outlets to match passengers’ requirements. We improve the range on an ongoing basis and will be opening a number of new outlets landside in the next few months, including Scandinavia’s first Pret A Manger, as well as even more opportunities to buy healthy, organic food,” says Thomas Woldbye.

High investment level continues

CPH’s investment level in the first nine months of 2017 has been higher than in the same period of 2016. DKK 1,029.1 million has already been invested this year in expanding Terminal 2 landside, the central security checkpoint, developing the terminal area between Piers A and B, and establishing the new Pier E. There have also been investments to expand passport control in Pier C further to new EU rules requiring 100% passport checks on journeys to and from Schengen countries.

“Earlier in the year, we decided to further increase our investment level, so we expect to make investments of approximately DKK 1.3 billion in expanding and improving the airport in 2017 for the future. The extensive building projects we’ve launched are running to schedule. We will open the new security checkpoint at the end of the year and the airside extension to the terminal area next year, creating even more space and new facilities for passengers,” Thomas Woldbye explains.

National aviation strategy

The new regulation relating to the NAS (National Aviation Strategy) has just been announced and CPH will be commenting in its contents in separate communication.

Highlights of results

  • Passenger numbers at Copenhagen Airport increased by 1.6% in the first nine months of 2017. The number of local departing passengers grew by 3.9% and the number of transfer passengers decreased by 6.7%. 
  • Revenue grew by 1.2% to DKK 3,378.2 million (2016: DKK 3,337.4 million), primarily driven by the increase in departing international passengers. Underlying revenue growth, excluding the effect of the new hotel agreement, was 4.1%. 
  • Thanks to sustained focus on cost efficiency and despite increased regulatory requirements, operating costs per passenger fell by 0.9%, excluding one-off items and the effect of the new hotel agreement. 
  • EBITDA, excluding one-off items, increased by 5.7% to DKK 2,041.2 million (2016: DKK 1,930.5 million). Reported EBITDA rose by 5.5% to DKK 2,026.2 million (2016: DKK 1,920.5 million). 
  • EBIT, excluding one-off items, increased by 3.1% to DKK 1,457.0 million (2016: DKK 1,412.6 million). Reported EBIT rose by 2.8% to DKK 1,442.0 million (2016: DKK 1,402.6 million). EBIT was affected by a 12.8% increase in depreciation charges because of the large investments in growth. 
  • Net financing costs increased by DKK 6.8 million year on year, which is partly due to a higher investment level, but were offset to some extent by improved loan terms. 
  • Profit before tax, excluding one-off items, increased by 2.9% to DKK 1,316.3 million (2016: DKK 1,278.7 million). Reported profit before tax increased by 2.6% to DKK 1,301.3 million (2016: DKK 1,268.7 million). 
  • Capital expenditure was DKK 1,029.1 million in the first nine months of 2017 (2016: DKK 664.7 million). The first nine months of the year have been affected by expansion of capacity at the central security checkpoint, improvement of wide-body facilities, expansion of Terminal 2 airside, establishment of Pier E and various investments in growth.