Zurich Airport News Flash No. 12 / Half year results 2014
Flughafen Zürich AG reports a profit of 88.1 million Swiss francs for the first half of 2014. Compared with the figure for the prior-year period, which was negatively impacted as a result of a one-off charge for restructuring of non-current financial liabilities, this represents an increase of 78.1 million Swiss francs. After seven years, Thomas Kern, CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG, steps back at the end of 2014. His successor will be Stephan Widrig who is member of the management board since 2008.
From January through June 2014, 11.9 million passengers (an increase of 0.5 percent) used Zurich Airport as their departure, transfer or destination airport. The number of local passengers rose by 4.1 percent compared with the prior-year period, while the number of transfer passengers fell by 6.6 percent. The share of transfer passengers declined from 33.8 percent in 2013 to 31.4 percent in 2014.
The number of flight movements dropped by 0.2 percent in the first six months of 2014 to 128,289 take-offs and landings. The seat load factor per flight movement rose from 73.6 percent to 73.9 percent. The average number of passengers per flight rose from 106 to 108. Freight handled at Zurich Airport increased by 3.5 percent compared to the prior-year period to a total of 211,814 tons.
Total revenue declined by 3.4 percent to 453.7 million Swiss francs, which was due solely to the suspension of the 5-franc noise supplement as per 1st of February 2014. Aviation revenue declined by 6.1 percent to 268.8 million Swiss francs. Non-aviation revenue went up by 1.0 percent to 184.8 million Swiss francs.
Key operating data
Operating expenses fell by 4.9 percent to 213.1 million Swiss francs compared with the first six months of 2013. This is due to both generally good cost management and to an extraordinary mild winter in 2014. At 240.6 million Swiss francs, EBITDA was 4.7 million Swiss francs below the prior-year figure.
The construction project for «The Circle» is on track. With the University Hospital Zurich, a further well-known tenant was acquired in the first half of 2014. The pre-letting rate is set to be increased further by the planned start of construction in 2015. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2018.
Flughafen Zürich AG anticipates 1 percent growth in passenger volumes for the current financial year. The number of flight movements is expected to be stable. From today's standpoint, the result for 2014 as a whole should be above that of the previous year.
Thomas Kern retires as CEO
After seven successful years as CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG, Thomas Kern, soon 62 years old, has decided to pursue new opportunities. After 28 years of broad experience in executive functions and as CEO, he is looking forward to the last phase of his professional life in non-executive functions outside Flughafen Zürich AG.
Since January 2008, Thomas Kern is the CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG. Among others, under his responsibility the new dock B and the security check building were built and opened as well as the upgrade of terminal 2 with the opening of the southern check-in facilities in spring 2014. The real estate project «The Circle» developed from a concept to a finalized construction project under his lead.
In the year 2011, ahead of the initiative put forward by the municipalities, Thomas Kern made a huge effort so that the population stood once more behind “their” airport and rejected the initiative. The CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG always faced the dialogue with the opponents of the airport, on the occasion of speeches at community meetings or various public discussions. His profound knowledge of the aviation industry, which he acquired during his seven years in the top management of the airport, allowed him to set forth complicated aviation facts in a clear way.
The board of directors cordially thanks Thomas Kern for his huge personal engagement for Zurich Airport and wishes him all the best for the future.
Successor from within the own ranks
After a careful evaluation process, the board of directors has appointed Stephan Widrig as the new CEO of Flughafen Zürich AG as per 1st of January 2015. Stephan Widrig, born in 1972, is member of the management board of Flughafen Zürich AG since the 1st of July 2008 and currently as Chief Commercial Officer in charge of the commercial activities and the development, construction and operation of all the buildings and facilities at the airport. Widrig holds a degree in political and economic sciences of the University of St. Gallen. He joined the former Flughafen-Immobilien-gesellschaft in 1999 before the merger with Flughafendirektion in 2000. After his mission in the privatization team ahead of the referendum he first managed a front organization of the airport and took over responsibility for the real estate business in 2002. From 2005 to 2008 he worked as Chief Financial and Chief Commercial Officer at Bengaluru International Airport in the southern Indian Bangalore. With Stephan Widrig a successor closely linked to the airport region with a great knowhow of the airport business in general – and of Zurich Airport in particular – has been found. Stephan Widrig is married and has three children.
The latest annual report is available on the Internet at http://www.zurich-airport.com/annualreport.