HomeAir LineMaurici Lucena: “Aena will continue to distribute 80% of the profit in...

Maurici Lucena: “Aena will continue to distribute 80% of the profit in dividends”

The airport manager increases shareholder remuneration by 61% against 2023 after earning 1,631 million, 13% more than in 2019

The president of Aena, Maurici Lucena, between the company’s vice president, Javier Marín, and the general director of Commercial and Real Estate, María José Cuenda.Carlos Muina

Aena sees the strength to maintain high shareholder remuneration in the coming years. The recent historical traffic data in the Spanish airport network, with 283 million travelers in 2023 (16.25% more than in 2022), has translated into a profit for the company of 1,631 million, 81% above of the 2022 result and 13% better than that obtained before the pandemic. Such performance will allow the distribution of a dividend of 7.66 euros per share, which will be proposed at the meeting set for April 18. The payment will be in cash and will be made on May 7, as reported by the company to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). Shares rise 1.3% on the stock market.

The prize to shareholders, increasing by 61% over the 4.75 euros that were distributed against 2022, once again responds to the rule imposed in the house of distributing 80% of the profit (pay out). And so it will continue to be, as confirmed by President Maurici Lucena in an appearance before the media. “We are very comfortable with a payout of 80% given that our debt to EBITDA ratio is low, two times,” said Lucena.

Aena, however, highlights that the net result has been boosted by financial extraordinary events: 36 million for the remuneration of deposits in Brazil, 11 million for favorable exchange rates or 23.2 million for the valuation of derivatives. Other levers have been the reversal of provisions for 155 million due to the collapse of traffic in Brazil during the pandemic; the jump in international revenues to 616 million (+26.9%); a 14% increase in commercial sales per traveler (from 4.8 to 5.8 euros), or a sharp drop in electricity spending.

The EBITDA of the listed public firm was 3,022 million, with an increase of 45.4% compared to the 2,079 million declared in 2022. This gross operating profit, which leaves a margin of almost 59%, also flies above 2,766 million that Aena harvested in 2019. In this way, the achievement of the objective set in the 2022-2026 strategic plan of returning to the EBITDA prior to the health crisis is brought forward one year.

The activity well above what was expected, together with having reached the halfway point of the aforementioned strategic program, has caused Aena to update its roadmap on March 7. Before, on day 1, a new tariff framework comes into force through which the operator has obtained an increase of 4.09% (40 cents on average per traveler) to compensate for costs that in 2022 were marked by high inflation. The maximum adjusted annual income per passenger (IMAAJ) charged by Aena will reach 10.35 euros, from the current 9.95 euros.

If the traffic managed in 2023 is equal, with the aforementioned 283 million travelers, Aena would obtain an extra income of 113 million from the aeronautical or regulated business thanks to the new rates. But the estimate of travelers, currently under review, will be close to 300 million.

Regarding the recent disagreement with the airlines, which asked for fare moderation, the company chaired by Maurici Lucena has defended that its prices will continue to be lower than those of 2019 and that they will have decreased by 11%, in nominal terms (not counting inflation), between 2015 and 2023. In the same period, inflation has been 21%, which makes Aena speak of rates 32% below those of 2015.

Improvement in aeronautical and commercial businesses

The turnover in the last financial year was 5,142 million, with an improvement of 21.3%. The regulated part of the business reaped sales of 2,858 million euros, 18.5% more than in 2022. Commercial income, for its part, was 1,552 million. This last figure is already higher than that of 2019 by 17.3% and offers an increase of 25% over that of 2022. The real estate business, still to develop its potential, already contributes 105 million, almost 20% more than in 2022. But among commercial income, duty-free stores stand out (duty free) with 411 million (+23.5%), restaurants in the terminals delivered 325 million (+33.4%), conventional commerce billed Aena 134 million (+48%) and car parks paid 180 million (+23 %).

The investment paid has reached 1,384 million, of which 621 million are due to commitments acquired in Brazil for the concession of new airports (BOAB).

Aena has maintained the net debt in the terms of the end of 2022, with 6,222 million, but the increase in ebitda favors a reduction in the debt ratio from 3 to 2.06 times. The airport manager also highlights this morning the generation of net cash from operating activities of 2,219 million, 19% more.

The item of supply, personnel and other operating expenses grows by almost 130 million thanks to greater activity, up to 2,218 million. In any case, a 45% reduction in the energy bill has played in Aena’s favor, up to 121 million. However, the jump in traffic leaves increases of 20.6% in the security item, up to 165 million; The maintenance has deserved 154 million, 6.2% more, and the payment of taxes has taken 157 million, which entails a slight increase of 0.4%.

Adding traffic in Spain, London-Luton airport and the airports in Northeast Brazil, the number of travelers on Aena’s infrastructure grew by 16%, reaching 314 million. At the end of last year, the Spanish company managed 20% of Brazil’s traffic. To the six airports it operates in the northeast of the country, between October and November 2023, it has added the 11 assets won at auction in August 2022 for a term of 30 years with five more of possible extension. Among them, the Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo stands out, the second busiest in the Brazilian market.

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Source: Cincodias

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