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Belgrade Airport 2011 Net Income Fell 18.4% to $17.9 Million

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April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Aerodrom Nikola Tesla AD, Serbia’s main airport near capital Belgrade, said net income fell 18.4 percent last year on delay in payment by top client, flag carrier JAT Airways.

The single-strip, state-controlled airport reported a 1.58 billion dinar ($17.95 million) net earning, compared with almost 1.94 billion dinar in the previous year. The bottom line may be revised later to 2.24 billion dinars after an expected “protocol on payment” with also state-owned JAT to collect the 660 million dinars owed by the carrier, the operator said in e-mailed comments. Pretax profit was 1.67 billion dinars, below its March 2011 full-year forecast of 2.48 billion dinars.

Apart from the difficulties with JAT, which the government has been trying to sell, “Nikola Tesla’s business result is in line with expectations,” the company said. Sales rose 9.6 percent to 5.54 billion dinars and the number of flights rose 2 percent to almost 45,000.

The operator cut fees twice last year to attract airlines and increased the number of carrier clients to 36 from 34. The number of passengers rose 16 percent to 3.12 million, the most since the 1990’s Balkan wars that almost halted air traffic in Serbia.

Aerodrom Nikola Tesla’s shares, which debuted on the Belgrade Stock Exchange in February 2011, fell 0.98 percent today to 506 dinars a piece.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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