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Strong growth at Copenhagen Airport

For the sixth consecutive year, passenger numbers at Copenhagen Airport were at a record high, with 29 million people passing through the airport in 2016. Meanwhile, investment in expanding the airport continues.

More than 29 million people passed through Copenhagen Airport in 2016, a 9.1% increase on the previous year. This considerable growth was driven in particular by 2.3 million more international travellers. Copenhagen Airport’s CEO Thomas Woldbye is extremely satisfied with the excellent passenger numbers:

“Throughout 2016 we experienced growing interest in travel to and from Copenhagen Airport, and CPH’s position as the hub of Northern Europe has been further consolidated. As a result of our focus on attracting new routes, in 2016 we added 9 new destinations to the map, taking the total to 165 destinations. At the same time, we succeeded in maintaining a very high level of passenger satisfaction,” says Thomas Woldbye, who specifically cites the 10.9% growth on intercontinental routes as an important result and a factor that strengthens Copenhagen Airport’s competitive position among Europe’s major airports.
A significant proportion of the passenger growth resulted from the ever rising number of tourists travelling to Denmark via CPH. In 2016, the number of international tourists flying to CPH increased by 11% compared to 2015. This was due to new air routes and greater capacity in the form of bigger aircraft and more departures.
“The large number of tourists is contributing to growth and job creation in the tourism sector throughout Denmark,” says Thomas Woldbye. “This is one of the extremely positive effects that has emerged historically with the development of new routes at Copenhagen Airport and that will intensify further in the coming years as we realise CPH’s plan to grow to 40 million passengers a year.”
DAMVAD Analytics has calculated that the growth at Copenhagen Airport in the period 2005 to 2015 contributed approx. DKK 31 billion to Denmark’s gross domestic product (GDP). According to DAMVAD Analytics, the new routes, greater seating capacity and increased number of passengers travelling to Copenhagen Airport added a further DKK 5.7 billion in 2016.
The high level of passenger growth is providing a platform for revenue growth and satisfactory profit. Revenue grew in the aeronautical segment by 10.0% and in the non-aeronautical segment by 7.3%. The Group’s total revenue grew to DKK 4,421.9 million, representing an increase of 8.9%. Profit before tax excluding one-off items was DKK 1,635.5 million, in line with the most recent guidance of 8 November 2016.
High investment level creating capacity for further growth
More routes and more passengers mean more demands on Copenhagen Airport, so at the end of 2016 Copenhagen Airports A/S presented a major general investment plan aimed at expanding the airport to handle 40 million passengers a year. In 2016, CPH invested DKK 1,033.5 million in expansion projects:
“In 2016, we invested considerable sums in expanding the airport, including in connection with a major expansion of the central security checkpoint to double its current size and with five new lanes. We expect the new security checkpoint to open later this year. We’ve also increased our capacity for large wide-body aircraft, as well as upgrading a number of bus gates,” says Thomas Woldbye, who expects to continue the high level of investment in 2017, which is expected to be approximately DKK 1.3 billion.
Passenger experience at the centre
CPH’s strategy is about strengthening the airport’s position as the most important airport in Northern Europe and creating unique passenger experiences.
“Our ambition is to make the passage through Copenhagen Airport the best part of the passengers’ journey,” says Thomas Woldbye. “We’re therefore continually focused on creating the best possible experiences for all passengers. During 2016, we improved the central security checkpoint and opened new shops and restaurants that have been really well received by passengers. We’ve also built a new car park, P19, with more than 1,000 spaces in the cheapest budget category.”
The positive uptake of the new offerings is positively reflected in passenger satisfaction.
Further investments expected
CPH is continuing to invest in developing the airport in 2017. The planned investments include a 4,000 m2 expansion of the area between Pier B and Pier A and the first phase of a new Pier E for, in particular, large intercontinental aircraft. Furthermore, the departure area of Terminal 3 is being expanded; among other things, building work has already begun on a bridge connection from the metro station to the security checkpoint. CPH will also be investing in non-aeronautical projects.
CPH’s expected traffic programme for 2017 offers a number of new routes and increased capacity. The total number of passengers is therefore expected to increase. Growth in passenger numbers is a dynamic factor subject to both positive and negative influence from general economic developments, airline decisions about routes and capacity, and one-off events in the aviation industry. It is anticipated that an increase in passenger numbers will have a positive impact on profit for the year.
Operating costs are expected to be higher than in 2016, primarily due to the expected rise in passenger numbers, stricter requirements for security and inflation, but this will be partly offset by a continuing sharp focus on operating cost efficiencies.
Overall, depreciation charges and financial costs are expected to be higher than in 2016, primarily as a result of a continued high investment level.
Profit before tax for 2017 is therefore expected to be in the range of DKK 1,600-1,700 million, excluding one-off items. EBITDA is projected to be higher in 2017 than in 2016, excluding one-off items
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