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Fraport AG Interim Report - First Half 2001: Five Percent Increase in
Consolidated Profits Up 43 Percent
Clear Success Despite
Slower Traffic Growth - Airport Expansion Remains on Schedule
Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - For the first time, Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide today presented an interim report for the first six months of the current business year. Compared to the same period of the previous year, Consolidated revenues increased five percent to Euro 756.9 million from January to June 2001. Consolidated profit climbed in the same period by almost 43 percent to Euro 39.1 million. Dr. Wilhelm Bender, Chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG, said that the Group had "continued its positive development and held its position in a difficult economic environment". Deutsche Börse AG has decided that Fraport shares will be included in Frankfurt's MDAX effective September 24. For the first half of 2001, the number of passengers at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) increased 2.7 percent to 24 million, while airfreight declined 0.6 percent to 744,000 metric tons. The Lufthansa pilot strike resulted in an unexpected negative effect for Fraport. However, the company is confident that it can largely compensate for the loss in the second half of the year, which is always seasonally stronger. Consolidated revenues increased by five percent to Euro 756.9 million; retailing revenues even grew at double-digit rates in the reporting period. Total revenues from January to June 2001 increased by about nine percent to Euro 805 million. Major factors contributing to this increase included non-recurring income as well as unrealized currency gains due to the higher U.S. dollar, which have to be shown according to IAS (International Accounting Standards). Almost three-quarters of the total revenues were generated by the Aviation and Ground Handling segments. With 85 percent, the Non-aviation segment accounted for the largest share of the consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization). Operational costs increased by 13.8 percent to Euro 601.5 million. Personnel expenditures represented the largest cost item. They increased by 10.3 percent to nearly Euro 347 million compared to the first half of the previous year. This was mainly due to the employee stock participation plan launched with the company's IPO (initial public offering) and due to first-time provisions made for a new staff pay scheme based on individual and corporate performance. With Euro 130 million, cost of material was more than five percent over the previous year's level, thus increasing at about the same rate as revenues. Other operating expenses amounted to Euro 125 million; this was mainly due to non-recurring expenses for strategic projects, such as implementation of SAP R/3 and non-realized currency losses according to IAS. EBITDA reached Euro 204.8 million, compared to Euro 210.5 million recorded during the first six months of the record year 2000. Operating cash flow experienced a strong 30-percent increase to well over Euro 140 million, compared on a half-yearly basis. Investments of Euro 122 million - mainly for property, plant and equipment at Frankfurt - could be entirely financed from operating cash flow. Some Euro 904 million flowed into the company's coffers as a result of the IPO on June 11. Equity ratio rose to 49.5 percent from 33.5 percent in 2000. Therefore, the IPO created the financial basis for further expansion at Frankfurt. Fraport expects the pending planning procedures to continue on schedule. On August 27 the company will submit documentation for the regional planning procedure. Bender again emphasized that "the current situation regarding airport expansion could not be any better". Fraport's CEO said "we are optimistic". There have been clear decisions from all relevant political bodies, favourable court decisions so far, and the company has been able to maintain the ambitious time schedule for airport expansion. "The results of all public opinion surveys also make us optimistic," said Bender. More than half of the population has come out decisively in favour of airport expansion, while only 10 to 15 percent disapproved. Bender explained that Fraport AG now has initiated the procedure for increasing Frankfurt Airport's coordinated movements per hour. At FRA, it should be possible to increase the number of coordinated aircraft movements from 78 to 80 per hour. This additionally created capacity will help FRA temporarily to accommodate traffic until a new runway opens in five years. Fraport expects passenger figures to grow faster in the traditionally stronger second half of the year, anticipating about three-percent passenger growth for the entire year. In July 2001, the busiest month on record in the history of Frankfurt Airport, 4.9 million passengers were welcomed, 2.6 percent more than in July of the previous year. Well over 50 million passengers will use Frankfurt Airport in 2001. As indicated before the IPO, the company currently expects EBITDA results for the entire year to be modestly below the previous year's level, due to special influencing factors. Bender said, "Fraport AG is on course in a difficult market environment". ots Originaltext: Fraport AG Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch Contact: Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide Robert A. Payne - Manager International Press D-60547 Frankfurt am Main Phone +49 69 690 -78547 (with voice mailbox) Fax +49 69 690 -60548 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.fraport.de (click on "Press Lounge")