Aena Foresees More Costs And Less Profit Than Expected In Its First Strategic Plan

Aena foresees more costs and less profit than expected in its first strategic planAena logo on the screens of the boarding gates of Terminal 4 of the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport

For the first time in its history AENA has published its strategic plan and set out its forecasts for its results for the next two years. In the plan, three pillars mark the direction of the group in this period: commercial income, construction and foreign growth. The following points are highlighted:

  • Although AENA is confident of consolidating its growth because of or the predictions for air traffic, which will double in 20 years, and its position as a hub between America and Asia, its short term estimates suggest a change of cycle after the records in recent years.
  • The company expects air traffic to increase 2% in Spain next year, compared to the 5.5% expected for 2018, and highlights short term uncertainties like Brexit. In the medium term, the road map contemplates increasing the capacity of the airports, primarily Madrid and Barcelona, with an investment of 2.835 billion euros.
  • In the commercial section, the company believes that there is margin to increase sales per passenger. To increase these, it will redesign the comercial spaces, relaunch the tax-free stores with Dufry and promote restaurants, specialised shops and digitalisation.

However, AENA expects that the major catalysts for value will be construction on land near the airports of Madrid and Barcelona and international growth. Thus it has decided to create a wholly owned subsidiary which will bring the land and the rights of use to joint companies which will bring together partner investors. The company wants to profile this structure in the next few months to launch a tendering process next Spring with the idea that the first buildings will be occupied in 2022. In Madrid it will focus on logistical development and the creation of a business centre with hotels and offices. In Barcelona the focus will be on logistics and e-commerce.

  • On international growth, AENA prioritises Latin America and Europe, although it does not rule out exploring opportunities in Asia, the Middle East and North America. Its intention is to secure majority shareholdings in strategic assets with local and financial partners, and with minority shareholdings in high risk markets or where foreign companies are not allowed majority shareholdings in national companies.
  • Finally AENA has committed itself to maintain the payments to shareholders announced before the summer, which contemplates sharing 80% of its profits with shareholders. Thus it will pay out 975 million euros in 2018 and 1 bn euros next year.