Aena traffic grows 1.4% in August compared to pre-pandemic levels

Aena nuevita

Intermoney | Aena (Hold, Target Price €150/share) released traffic figures for August 2023 on Tuesday, which showed a +1.4% increase over pre-pandemic (2019) levels. Recent trends continued last month, with both Barajas and El Prat still below 2019, specifically -4% and -8%, respectively. These declines were more than offset by significant growth at tourist airports, such as Malaga (+10%) or Lanzarote (+10%). Other relevant increases were in Valencia (+17%) and Bilbao (+20%). So far this year, growth is also +1%, again with decreases in Barajas (-3%) and El Prat (-7%), while the rest of the major airports increased their traffic by an average of 3-7%.

Assessment: August data have not shown any major surprises, in what is traditionally one of the most important months of the year. However, our traffic forecasts for this year as a whole, which indicate +3% compared to 2019, appear to be somewhat optimistic. Our earnings estimates imply in 23e a near-repeat of EBITDA compared to pre-pandemic levels (€2,753m), with the contrast persisting between Aeronautics (78% pre-pandemic), still affected by the relative decline in tariffs and cost increases, and Commercial (+115%), which has been pushed up by inflation and higher spending. International (+225%) currently consolidates airports in Brazil, which was not the case in 2019. Looking ahead to 2024-25e, we expect EBITDA growth of +5-6% year-on-year.

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