Schulte, speaking at At Fraport’s regular Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Frankfurt, said: "Supported by strong traffic growth, both our revenue and adjusted earnings reached new record levels. We achieved our targets in full and are well positioned to continue this growth trend."
Group revenue climbed by 13% to €2.93 billion, with Fraport's Greek airports contributing a significant €235 million towards the total.
The slight decline in operating Group earnings (EBITDA), said Schulte, could be attributed to “extraordinary effects in the previous 2016 business year”, which saw Fraport’s earnings boosted by the sale of shares in Thalia Trading Ltd and a compensation payment from the Philippine government over its decision to rip up the PIATCO consortium’s operating contract for Terminal 3 at Manila’s Nino Aquino International Airport.
Adjusting for these one-off effects, EBITDA increased by around 18% to just over €1 billion, while the adjusted Group result (net profit) improved by 21.6% to €360 million.
International business gaining momentum
Fraport's international business segment made a significant contribution to the Group's strong performance, boosting its share of total operating earnings from 24% in 2016 to 32% in fiscal year 2017 (also adjusted for special effects).
A marked increase in passenger traffic at all of Fraport's Group airports worldwide triggered the growth of this segment.
In the long term, stated Schulte, Fraport's strategy is to further increase the segment's share of earnings.
With the operational takeover of airports in Greece and Brazil, he noted that Fraport has reached important new milestones in expanding its international portfolio.
"By continuously expanding our international portfolio, we are utilising additional growth opportunities. As a result, we are giving our company an even stronger and broader business footing, and, above all, we are generating more revenue,” said Schulte.
At home in Germany, Schulte confirmed that Frankfurt Airport enjoyed a good year with passenger traffic rising 6% to 64.5 million passengers, and this trend has continued in the first four months of 2018 with throughput up by 8.7%.
However, Schulte added a note of caution when he stated: "Frankfurt Airport will always remain a premium hub with a clear focus on providing best transfer processes and worldclass connectivity.
“To fulfil this commitment, however, passenger screening processes at German airports need to be streamlined. Compared to Germany, other international hub airports benefit from more efficient and simpler processes that allow about twice as many passengers to be
screened per checkpoint, in the same amount of time.
“Therefore, we urgently need the appropriate decision-making by the responsible
German Ministry of the Interior to achieve acceptable waiting times again at the security checkpoints."
Outlook for 2018
Based on the positive performance in the year to date, Fraport is maintaining its positive outlook for the 2018 fiscal year with group revenues growing to €3.1 billion and passenger numbers at Frankfurt Airport expected to reach between 67 million and 68.5 million passengers by year-end – a rise of around 6%.