Budapest Airport reports EUR 87.6 mln loss in 2021

Transport

Image by Budapest Airport/Róbert Baranyi

Ferenc Liszt International Airport ended the second year of the coronavirus pandemic with a loss of EUR 87.6 million, operator Budapest Airport says.

2021 was another disastrous year for the aviation industry, but marginally better than the first year of the pandemic, 2020, the operator noted. Last year, European trends in passenger traffic were in line with expectations, as the recovery from the severe crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic began in the second half of the year. Airline capacities and, in parallel, traffic at airports recovered steadily, but passenger numbers were still far below 2019 levels. In the air cargo segment, however, cargo volumes reached unprecedented heights.

The start of the recovery is also reflected in Budapest Airport’s financial results; the company posted a 21% increase in net revenue to EUR 143.3 mln compared to the previous year, ending last year with an overall 20% lower loss of EUR 87.6 mln. Budapest Airport continued to make up some of this major revenue shortfall caused by the decline in passenger numbers with record cargo traffic and stable property revenues from tenants whose operations were not influenced by passenger traffic, such as aircraft maintenance companies and integrators.

Budapest Airport spent EUR 36.6 mln on developments last year, bringing the total investments in capacity expansion, infrastructure, and sustainability over the past three years to more than EUR 200 mln, and increased wages by an average of 13% from March 2022.

In parallel, Budapest Airport also commenced preparations for the reopening of Terminal 1 and the construction of the new Terminal 3. The total value of the two investments will exceed EUR 1 billion.

Taking last year’s financial results into account, the Budapest Airport group has still only generated cash profits in two years, 2018 and 2019, since the appearance of the current owners in 2007. Adding up the results of the profitable years and subtracting the losses of the previous years, the airport's total loss registered between 2007-2021 amounts to about EUR 326 million.

Despite the significant loss of traffic and revenue over the past two years, the company says that it has managed to maintain continuous and safe operations at the airport, and has put in place the financial, human, and infrastructural conditions necessary for recovery.

Commenting on the financial results, Chris Dinsdale, CEO of Budapest Airport, highlights, “We are proud that we were able to get through the second year of the pandemic without state support, and that we continued developments at a dynamic pace, despite all the difficulties. We have been preparing for a recovery for months, both in terms of human resources and capacity, and I am confident that in 2022, we will approach our 2019 results in passenger numbers, and thus in terms of revenues as well.”

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