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Fraport Advances as Traffic Rises Amid Walkout: Frankfurt Mover

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Fraport AG, the owner of Europe’s third-biggest airport, gained the most in six months as passenger traffic across its airports grew in the face of a strike in Germany.

The shares climbed as much as 4.6 percent, the steepest intraday gain since March 8. They traded 3.8 percent higher at 46.60 euros as of 12:18 p.m. in Frankfurt. Passenger traffic grew 5.2 percent in August from a year earlier, even while cabin crew at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the company’s main client, walked out one day that month, Fraport said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Fraport achieved a new August monthly record,” despite the strike, which reduced passenger figures by 28,000, Jochen Rothenbacher, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Equinet, said in a note to clients.

Fraport is expanding its capacity with a new runway and enlarged passenger facilities at its marquee Frankfurt facility. It opened a 760 million-euro ($980 million) fourth runway there in October, lifting capacity to 700,000 flights a year from 500,000, and will open an extension to Terminal 1, Lufthansa’s hub, next month.

Lufthansa agreed to enter mediated talks with its main cabin crew union Sept. 7 after three days of strikes culminated in a walkout which forced the cancellation of more than half the carrier’s services. The first strike, on Aug. 31, led to the cancellation of 251 flights in Frankfurt, Fraport said today. The second walkout came on Sept. 4.

Share Performance

Fraport, which also operates Turkey’s Antalya airport and Peru’s Lima airport, has gained 23 percent this year, valuing the company at 4.3 billion euros. Lufthansa, Europe’s second-biggest airline, has gained 17 percent this year, for a valuation of 4.9 billion euros.

Air freight volumes declined 4.1 percent in August compared to a year earlier, Fraport said. Frankfurt was hit by a court ban on all flights between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. last October, a decision which predominantly affected cargo flights. The volume decline was also due to “the uncertain development of the world economy,” Equinet analyst Rothenbacher said in the note.

Fraport is “well on track to reach a full-year growth of less than 4 percent,” said Rothenbacher, who has an accumulate recommendation on the stock.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb25@bloomberg.net

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

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