The group explains the decisive factor for the decline was the mild winter with substantially lower revenue from aircraft de-icing services, compared with the particularly severe weather in the previous year.
However, lower operating expenses and sustainable reductions in administrative operating costs and personnel expenses led to a sound improvement in earnings.
EBITDA rose by 9.4% to €53.2 million, net profit by 28% to €12.2 million, while net debt was reduced to €604.9 million in the quarter.
FWAG says it is close to reaching a goal that was originally targeted for 2016, namely reducing net debt to less than 2.5-times EBITDA.
Passenger traffic to Vienna Airport rose by 0.3% in the quarter, with the number of travellers reaching 4.4 million, which were affected by the April Easter holiday date and turmoil in the Ukraine, Russia and Middle East.
Malta Airport, FWAG’s most important foreign investment, recorded positive development with an increase of 8.4% in the number of passengers during the period.
Günther Ofner, member of the management board of FWAG, notes: “In spite of lower revenue due to the mild winter, we recorded a substantial increase in EBITDA, EBIT and, above all, in net profit during the first quarter of 2014. Net debt was also reduced significantly.
“In other words, our focus on steady productivity improvement and strict cost discipline has proven to be sustainable. The company is on a good course, and the outlook for 2014 promises further sound growth.”