Aerodrom Nikola Tesla AD (AERO), Serbia’s main airport near the capital Belgrade, said first-quarter profit rose 17.8 percent as traffic increased and the dinar weakened.
Net income rose to almost 384 million dinars ($4.43 million) from 325.8 million dinars a year earlier, the state controlled company said in a regulatory filing. Passengers increased 14 percent to 604,210, and flights rose 2 percent to 9,749, according to the regulatory filing. Sales climbed 4.7 percent to 1.2 billion dinars.
“It’s good that they maintained double-digit growth but efficiency is weaker,” said Nenad Gujanicic, chief broker at Belgrade-based Sinteza Invest Group AD brokerage. Operating profit fell to 324 million dinars from 373 million the previous year after price cuts in the second half of 2011 aimed at attracting more passengers, he said.
The weaker dinar in the first three months was favorable for the airport as most of its client contracts are pegged to the dollar or the euro, Gujanicic said.
The airport may lose its monopoly on providing ground services if Swissport International AG wins approval from Serbia’s Civil Aviation Directorate to offer the service in Belgrade, including baggage handling, catering and aircraft cleaning, said Katarina Andric-Milosavljevic, spokeswoman for the directorate.
Zurich-based Swissport, bought by Paris-based PAI Partners Holdings Inc. in 2010, “just needs to add some documents” to its application filed earlier this year, she said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at email@example.com