Copenhagen Airports A/S (CPH) got off to a good start in 2016 as passenger numbers increased by 13.4%. The growing number of passengers lead to increases in both revenue and profit before tax. CPH retains its guidance for the full year.
The total number of passengers in the first quarter of the year increased by 13.4% year on year to 6,106,197, making this the busiest first quarter in the history of Copenhagen Airport.
The growth in traffic volumes was mainly driven by international traffic. European traffic grew by 14.4%, and intercontinental traffic was up by 11.2%.
“We saw very strong growth in passenger numbers in Q1, in part due to a significant increase in the number of foreign passengers flying to Copenhagen, which benefits economic growth throughout Denmark,” said Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
In addition, the Q1 interim financial statements were supported by strong growth in revenue from parking, mainly due to an increase in parking customers from Sweden, and reduced costs per passenger. Profit before tax for the quarter, excluding one-off items, was DKK 304.2 million, which was a 24.7% improvement on the first quarter of 2015.
Strong growth in international traffic
Copenhagen Airport is facing strong competition from other European hub airports in attracting new routes and passengers, and it is therefore important to continually grow intercontinental traffic. A number of intercontinental routes have opened since the first quarter of 2015, and more frequencies have been added and additional capacity deployed on several routes.
“We are making targeted efforts to attract new routes and to develop the ones we already have. In March, SAS opened a new route to Boston, and in December, Emirates launched daily flights between Copenhagen and Dubai using the world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus 380. New long-haul routes and increased capacity on existing routes help strengthen Copenhagen Airport as an international hub,” explained Thomas Woldbye.
European traffic has mainly been boosted by a number of new routes that have increased the number of leisure and business travellers to Denmark. Especially low-cost carriers easyJet and Ryanair have helped lift the number of inbound passengers. In March, Hungarian-based low-cost carrier Wizz Air started operations between Copenhagen and Skopje and also announced a new route to Sofia scheduled to open in June.
High level of capital expenditure continued
CPH invested more than DKK 1.1 billion in 2015 and will maintain a very high level of investment in 2016. Expansion of the central security checkpoint and of Terminal 2 was commenced in the first quarter of the year. In addition, a number of aircraft stands and bus facilities were renovated. Capital expenditure in Q1 totalled DKK 165.0 million.
“We are constantly investing to develop and expand the airport. The expansion of the central security checkpoint, which we initiated in March, will both provide more space for passengers and increase the number of screening lanes, increasing capacity from the current 18 to a total of 24 lanes. This will help us to retain the high level of service and the short waiting times,” said Thomas Woldbye.
Growth in non-aeronautical activities
Non-aeronautical activities also reported growth, and revenue from this business grew by 8.2%, mainly driven by a 13.4% increase in revenue from parking. Moreover, revenue from the shopping centre grew by 5.6%.
Outlook for 2016 retained
The outlook for traffic growth, profit before tax and capital expenditure is unchanged from the announcement of 1 March 2016.