Spanish airport operator profits jump 80 percent

AFP - [email protected]
Spanish airport operator profits jump 80 percent
A plane takes off from Madrid's Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport. Photo: Pedro Armestre / AFP

One-off tax deductions, a rise in passenger numbers and consolidaton of Luton airport have played their part in boosting profit of Spain's Aena, the world's biggest airport operator.


Spain's Aena, the world's biggest airport operator by passenger numbers, said Wednesday its net profit jumped by 79.9 percent in the first half of the year, boosted mainly by one-off tax deductions.

The company, which was partially listed on the stock market earlier this year, said higher air traffic and consolidation of Britain's Luton airport also helped earnings.

Aena posted a net profit of €275.6 million ($304.9 million) during the first six months of the year, up from 153.1 million euros during the first half of 2014.

The company's core profit -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, or EBITDA -- rose by 11.9 percent from a year earlier to €826.4 million.

It handled 93 million passengers during the first semester, a 5.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

"Aena has recorded growth for twenty consecutive months, confirming a change in the trend of the evolution of passenger traffic that began in November 2013," the company said in a statement.

The company runs 46 airports and two heliports in Spain, and has stakes in another 15 airports in three other nations - Britain, Colombia and Mexico.

Aena in October 2014 exercised its option to purchase an additional 11 percent of Luton airport, London's fourth largest, bringing its stake up to 51 percent.

The company said the consolidation of Luton boosted its core profit by €27.5 million during the first half of the year.

It also received extraordinary tax credits in income tax amounting to €57.4 million during the period.

Hit hard by Spain's economic downturn, Aena underwent a massive overhaul which included firing nearly half its workforce that helped the company return to profitability in 2013.

Aena shares made their debut on the Spanish stock market in February.  

The partial privatisation of the company -- the Spanish government still held a controling stake of 51 percent in the firm -- was one of Europe's biggest stock market listings since 2011, according to financial analysts.

Aena shares were down 1.89 percent at €101.35 in early afternoon trade. The IBEX 35 index of most-traded Spanish shares fell 0.45 percent.



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