Fraport First-Half Net Tumbles 17% on Night-Flights Ban, Economy

Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG said first-half profit fell 17 percent as a night-flights ban, increased spending and a sluggish economy weighed on margins.

Net income fell to 86.9 million euros ($108 million) from 105.2 million euros a year earlier, Fraport said in a statement. Analysts had predicted earnings of 88.4 million euros, based on the average of seven estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Flights from Frankfurt, Europe’s third-busiest airport and the chief hub of Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), have been barred between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. since October following a court ruling linked to the opening of a fourth runway. Six-month cargo tonnage fell 9.9 percent as a result of the ban, with the drop heightened by a weaker global economy and the European debt crisis, while spending was lifted by investment in the runway and a new pier.

Chief Executive Officer Stefan Schulte said that while the air-transportation industry is enduring a “difficult period,” Fraport still expects annual revenue to exceed 2.5 billion euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to advance by at least 5 percent, as forecast in May. Net income should match last year’s figure of 240 million euros, he said.

Fraport, which also runs airports in Peru, Turkey and Bulgaria, said half-year revenue increased 2.5 percent to 1.15 billion euros. Ebitda advanced 2 percent to 366 million euros.

Passenger numbers at Frankfurt, which ranks after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle among European hubs, rose 3.4 percent to 27.4 million during the six months. The group- wide total increased 2.8 percent to 44.2 million.

Lufthansa’s quarterly operating profit jumped almost 28 percent to 361 million euros, beating analyst estimates, as the effects of a 1.5 billion-euro efficiency program kicked in.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dorothee Tschampa in Frankfurt at dtschampa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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