HomeAir LineHeathrow achieves a minimal profit after four years in crisis

Heathrow achieves a minimal profit after four years in crisis

The London airport, owned by Ferrovial, earns 44 million euros in 2023 after achieving the third best traffic record in its history

The airport that has traditionally had the most traffic in Europe, London-Heathrow, has declared this morning a low profit at the end of 2023, but decisive when talking about the recovery of air transport. What was a paradigm of the suffering of the sector during the pandemic has risen with a net profit of 38 million pounds (44.4 million euros), which means getting out of the red numbers that it began to accumulate in 2020.

This positive result coincides with the third best traveler record in the history of the infrastructure, with 79.2 million users last year. The improvement is 28% from 61.6 million in 2022. With routes to America and Asia restored, Heathrow once again occupies the highest place among the best-connected airports in the world and is among the five with the most travelers.

The operator Heathrow Airport Holding (HAH) speaks of a solid base for 2024 and the search for a traffic record that is expected to reach 81.4 million passengers. The company, in which Ferrovial is the main shareholder with 25% of the capital, is confident in the boost in demand for a 20% rate reduction for this year.

The aforementioned profit of 38 million pounds is compared to the losses of 684 million pounds in 2022. The good performance of demand in the fourth quarter has been decisive for the return to black numbers. Sales for the year improved by 26.6%, to 3,687 million pounds. Adjusted ebitda, of £2,228 million, increased by 32%.

The airport has liquidity of 3.8 billion pounds and its leverage is lower than in 2019. Net debt is 16.8 billion, 6.5% higher.

New strategy in sight

Recovery from a deep crisis requires the preparation of a new strategic plan that will be released in the coming months. For now, the dividend tap will remain closed for the current year and is subject to a clear improvement in financial performance. In fact, HAH states that the return of shareholder remuneration will be under study throughout the year. Announcements about the return of dividends are beginning to pile up among airlines.

Heathrow chief executive Thomas Woldbye has warned that “with airport charges reduced by 20% in real terms, we will have to pull all the levers to be more efficient and make complex decisions about where we spend and invest our money to overcome the enormous cost challenge set by the CAA (Ciivl Aviation) and remain profitable for the next three years.”

With no dividends in sight and with expansion plans in quarantine, Ferrovial is trying to sell its 25% stake, for which it has an agreement valued at 2.37 billion pounds with the Saudi sovereign fund PIF and the French Ardian. The operation has been complicated by the addition of new shareholders in a selling position when executing the accompanying right. In this way, investors are being sought to acquire 60% of the capital.

In the area of ​​investments, Heathrow has placed emphasis on the plan to improve security at the terminals, with an allocation close to 1,000 million pounds with which surveillance equipment or the management system will be modernized. of luggage in Terminal 2. In terms of sustainability, the London airport is going to encourage the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) this year for a volume of up to 155,000 tons.

In this last section, the infrastructure management demands from the British Administration aid for the creation of a local industry around the production of SAF. Facilities for the entry of international tourists are also called for, to facilitate competition with other European airports and inject activity into the economy, or the recovery of duty-free sales.

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Source: Cincodias

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