Business picking up, Copenhagen Airports A/S reports DKK 98 million profit

Copenhagen Airports’ Q1 2024 financial report released today shows a profit of DKK 98 million before tax. The appetite for travel continues to recover, and almost 5.8 million passengers passed through Copenhagen Airport in the first three months of the year.  

Copenhagen Airport is off to a good start in 2024 with steadily increasing passenger traffic. A total of almost 5.8 million passengers passed through the airport in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 11%. However, the figures are not on a par with the level in 2019 – the year before the pandemic. In the same period of that year, the airport reported 6.3 million passengers.


Copenhagen Airports emerged from the first quarter with a profit of DKK 98 million before tax and revenue of DKK 1 billion. This was a strong improvement compared with a loss of DKK 59 million before tax and revenue of DKK 839 million in the year-earlier period.


”I am very pleased with the performance for the first three months, which is in line with our plans and forecast. We continue to see a growing appetite for travel, and the terminals are busy with passengers. However, we are not yet on a par with 2019 – the year before the pandemic – and the 9% drop in passenger numbers is noticeable”, says Christian Poulsen, CEO of Copenhagen Airports.


Revenue growth
Aeronautical revenue from air traffic totalled DKK 608 million for the first quarter, a 39% year-on-year increase. The improvement was primarily driven by the new, higher charges and a growing number of passengers. The charges, which came into force at 1 January 2024, represent the price airlines pay for using the airport's runways, terminals and services.


In the first quarter of 2024, revenue for the non-aeronautical business was up 7% to DKK 428 million. Earnings in the non-aeronautical part of the business, comprising the shopping centre, leasing, parking and hotels, is crucial to Copenhagen Airports’ ability to invest.


Growth in routes to North America
While Copenhagen Airport is seeing a general increase in the number of passengers, the trend is particularly strong on intercontinental routes to the US and the Middle East with a 30% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.


”We are very pleased that both airlines and passengers are choosing Copenhagen Airport. Especially the long-haul routes are doing very well. In fact, we are above the 2019 level on routes to and from North America. In the first quarter, passenger numbers on the direct routes between Copenhagen and US destinations were up 12% compared with the year before the outbreak of the pandemic,” says Christian Poulsen.


There is also an increase in the number of transfer passengers arriving at the airport and using Copenhagen as a stopover on their journey to destinations around the world. In the first quarter, 1.1 million transfer passengers passed through Copenhagen Airport, up 15% compared with last year.


”Transfer passengers are an important element of our strategy to be the largest traffic hub in northern Europe, where airlines gather their long-haul passengers from Scandinavia and northern Europe and send them on to destinations farther afield. We expect 5.5 million transfer passengers at the airport this year, up from 4.8 million last year,” says Christian Poulsen.


278 routes out of Copenhagen Airport
The busy summer period kicks off in a few weeks. Tourists from all over the world will be arriving in Denmark, and travellers from Denmark and southern Sweden will fly on holiday on one of the 278 routes operated from and to Copenhagen Airport this summer. Almost nine million passengers are expected to pass through the airport during June, July and August. On certain days, more than 100,000 passengers will travel via Denmark’s largest airport.


Terminal 3 undergoing changes
Most passengers traveling through Copenhagen Airport will experience many changes at the airport in the coming period. The terminal area between Gates B and C will be expanded to make extra room for travellers in the future and to accommodate a wider selection of shops, restaurants and a larger baggage reclaim area.


”We are constantly working to make the experience even better for our many passengers. While the construction work is in progress, part of the shopping centre will be closed off, but we will make sure that the work causes as little inconvenience to passengers as possible,” says Christian Poulsen.
Parts of the new terminal area will be ready in 2027, while the final construction work will be completed in 2028.


Outlook for the rest of the year
For the full year 2024, Copenhagen Airports expects 20% revenue growth, mainly driven by the new charges and growing passenger numbers. The airport expects a total of around 29 million passengers in 2024.


The financial guidance is subject to uncertainty due to the continued geopolitical and macroeconomic impacts. A deterioration in these factors may dampen the appetite for travel and thus have an adverse impact on Copenhagen Airport’s financial outlook.


Copenhagen Airport is guiding for a profit before tax in the DKK 1.15-1.35 billion range, provided passenger numbers reach the 29 million mark. Passenger growth will support this, while higher operating costs compared to 2023 will have the opposite effect. Higher operating costs are expected primarily as a result of increased passenger-related activities, legal requirements, pay increases and inflation.


Download the interim report here