Frankfurt Airport (FRA) owner Fraport Group has swung back to profit in H1 2021, benefitting from cost control and compensation from the government.
This resulted in a group net profit of $18.25m (€15.4m) in the first six months of this year, compared with a loss of $274.22m (€231.4m) in the prior year.
However, Fraport stated that its business performance continued to be affected by Covid-19 headwinds from January 2021 to June 2021.
Fraport’s group revenue of $960.96m (€810.9m) in H1 2021 was 10.9% lower than the year-ago figure.
The group still benefitted from the German and State of Hesse governments’ compensation to maintain operational readiness at FRA during the first Covid-19 lockdown last year.
In addition, the Greek Parliament granted compensation to Fraport for operational losses incurred by its 14 Greek airports last year as a result of the pandemic.
The Greek parliament decided to cancel the fixed concession fees for Fraport according to the amount of passenger traffic received.
Besides, the group received a temporary suspension of the payment of the variable concession fee.
All these initiatives led to a positive impact of $82.60m (€69.7m) on Fraport’s other operating income and group EBITDA.
In Frankfurt, Fraport reduced operating expenses by nearly 18% in H1 2021. Operating expenses dropped by around 17% at Fraport’s fully-consolidated group companies worldwide.
Passenger traffic was weak in Q1 2021 but picked up pace in Q2 across all Fraport’s airports.
FRA handled nearly 1.8 million travellers in June, which is an increase of nearly 200% on a year-on-year (YOY) basis.
The growth trend continued in July, with traffic surging to 2.8 million passengers.
At present, during busy days, the airport records passenger traffic of 50% of the level recorded during the pre-pandemic record year of 2019.
However, FRA still recorded a 46.6% YOY slump in overall passenger traffic in H1 2021 to almost 6.5 million passengers.
Fraport AG CEO Dr Stefan Schulte said: “The sharp increase in traffic is causing operational challenges for Frankfurt Airport (FRA) because traffic is heavily concentrated during several peak times of the day.
“In addition, the current anti-Covid measures require significantly more time and resources for terminal processes and aircraft ground-handling operations. Working closely with our partners, we are continuously enhancing processes while adapting our capacities to fluctuations in demand.”