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Fraport Earnings Increase 7.5% as Passengers Offset Cargo

Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG said first-quarter profit rose 7.6 percent as Europe’s third-busiest hub increased passenger numbers enough to offset a decline in cargo traffic prompted by a ban on night flights.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization grew to 138 million euros ($180 million) from 129 million euros a year earlier, Fraport said in a statement. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 130 million euros. Revenue gained 5.8 percent to 538 million euros.

While Frankfurt’s passenger total rose 3.5 percent to 12.2 million in the three months, cargo volume shrank almost 12 percent to 489,000 metric tons after the block on flights at between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The ban, upheld last month by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, will curb competition with rival airports in Amsterdam, Paris, London and Dubai, Germany’s BDL aviation industry association has said.

Net income declined 36 percent to 15.4 million, held back by investments in new projects, Fraport said, with a terminal extension due to become operational at Frankfurt this year after a fourth runway opened last October.

“Our operating performance is very good,” Chief Executive Officer Stefan Schulte said. “The lower net income was expected and is a consequence of our all-encompassing investments, with which we are laying foundations in Frankfurt for the future.”

The number of passengers using all airports operated by Fraport, which include Antalya in Turkey and Lima in Peru, increased by 3.9 percent to 17.5 million, it said.

Fraport reiterated its forecast for full-year revenue of more than 2.5 billion euros, a 5 percent increase in Ebitda and a similar level of net income, while adding that the night ban and a more costly collective wage agreement means Ebitda in the ground-handling segment will be lower than once anticipated.

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