Copenhagen Airports: Profit before tax year to date of DKK 408 million after a busy summer season

Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH) ended the third quarter with an overall profit of DKK 408 million before tax. The company has faith in the future, and the planned major expansion of terminals and the baggage reclaim area is taking shape. 

Christian Poulsen, interim CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S.


The appetite for travel was strong in the third quarter: July, August and September were the busiest months in four years as eight million passengers passed through Copenhagen Airports during the period.


In the third quarter, CPH generated profit before tax of DKK 300 million. Adding the profit before tax for the first half-year of DKK 108 million, Copenhagen Airports ended the month of September and the third quarter with an overall profit before tax of DKK 408 million.


"It is essential that CPH becomes profitable again, so we can invest for the future, and doing that is necessary if we are to remain attractive to the airlines and travellers," says Christian Poulsen, interim CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S. 


Revenue for the third quarter landed at DKK 1,166 million, a 9 per cent improvement on the same period of 2022. Total revenue for the nine-month period was DKK 3,064 million.


Busy summer season and satisfied travellers
A total of 20.3 million passengers passed through the terminals at Copenhagen Airport during the first nine months of the year, most of them during the summer months.


"We had a very good and very busy summer period at Copenhagen Airports. Everything in our operations and services worked very well, from check-in, security and shopping facilities to passport control, boarding and baggage handling," says Poulsen.


In the satisfaction surveys conducted, passengers have acknowledged the efforts made by employees working at the airport and at the airlines, shops, eateries and the ground handlers who perform check-ins and handle baggage and boarding on behalf of the airlines.


"We are on the right track. In the latest satisfaction survey, 85 per cent of travellers responded that they were satisfied/very satisfied with their experience at Copenhagen Airport. That ranks us as one of the best airports in Europe, an achievement we are obviously quite proud of on behalf of everyone at the airport," says Poulsen.


Important agreement in place
In September, Copenhagen Airports and the largest of the airlines reached a four-year agreement on the charges the airlines will be paying for the use of the airport's runways, terminals and services. The agreement was recently approved by the Danish Civil Aviation and Railway Authority.


"The charges the airlines pay for using the airport constitute the foundation of our finances and our ability to invest for the future and in the green transition. That is what makes the agreement so essential," explains Poulsen.


On 3 October, the airport's largest customer, SAS, announced the group of investors that will back the reconstruction of the company, including Air France-KLM and the Danish state. The plan is now subject to approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court.


"The fact that stable investors with knowledge of the industry have been found for the reconstruction of SAS is good news for SAS, for its employees, for Denmark and for Copenhagen Airport. Accounting for one third of the traffic, it is the largest airline at Copenhagen Airport. The new arrangement we hope will give SAS the necessary time and scope to continue developing its business here at Copenhagen Airport," says Poulsen.


Largest construction project in recent times
The development of the airport of the future is well under way. The construction project between piers B and C airside is the largest of its kind at the airport in recent times. The project is truly becoming noticeable and visible in the terminals.


"This transformative project will benefit CPH and all its various customers for many years to come and therefore whilst we apologize for the inconvenience, we will do everything we can to keep the inconvenience to a minimum for passengers and the businesses operating at the airport," says Poulsen.


Worth some DKK 5 billion, the project is scheduled for completion during 2027 and will offer more space, air and light for baggage reclaim, passport control, shopping centre and passenger areas.


Updated Outlook
Management has updated its expectations for the remainder of 2023, as a result of the continued growth and expectation for passenger numbers for the remaining part of the year.


Based on current trajectories for passenger growth, management expects passenger levels at approximately 26.5 million for the full year 2023 (previous expectation: 26 million). Expectations for growth in traffic revenue has thus been updated to 16% (previously 13%) for the full year 2023.


Based on passenger level expectations, a profit before tax of DKK 350 million to DKK 400 million is expected (previously DKK 300-350 million). The costs of passenger related activities and regulatory requirements are as expected in previous outlooks higher in 2023 than in 2022.


There will be no dividend payment in 2023 as a consequence of commitment towards lenders in waiver agreements


Download the interim report here