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Dusseldorf Airport 2007 business year sees increased turnover and profit

Thanks to outstanding business results for 2007 Dusseldorf International was able to reinforce its new role as a major hub in German air transportation. "Dusseldorf Airport continued its course in 2007, again significantly exceeding the previous year’s good results, both commercially as well as in terms of traffic development," says Christoph Blume, spokesman for the management board of Flughafen Dusseldorf GmbH. Turnover compared with the previous year increased by EUR 24.7 million to EUR 401.8 million. Profit for the year for Flughafen Dusseldorf GmbH increased significantly to EUR 32.5 million (previous year EUR 19.8 million). At the group level, profits for the year doubled to EUR 40.8 million (previous year EUR 20.1) due to one-off tax effects. At 17.8 million the number of passengers climbed by 7.5 % compared with 2006 to reach a new record high.

Christoph Blume comments: "These positive results confirm our strategy of deliberately aligning the company with the market and continuing to develop other areas of business in addition to aviation and thereby developing the airport location." The success over the last few years clearly shows that Dusseldorf International is very successful with this approach. Thomas Schnalke, Commercial Director: "We intend to continue meeting changing future requirements flexibly. The prerequisite for this continues to be a sustainably high level of profitability together with a strong financial footing that allows us to invest in the future." The airport’s positive development is characterised by above-average growth in passenger numbers and flights. "We have succeeded in working together with airlines to utilise the major capacities of the current operating licence for new offerings", says Christoph Blume.

Significance of the location in the metropolitan region continues to increase

Blume goes on to say: "Last year we continued to increase our position as an economic factor and the importance of the location in the metropolitan region." In addition to developing transportation, our main emphasis lay on growing our strategic business areas. Airport City area development also ran at full speed during 2007. Half of the real estate in the business park has been sold and a lot of projects are taking shape. The lead project, the Maritim Dusseldorf congress hotel, was opened in December last year and reinforces the quality of the airport location.

Dusseldorf International continued to pursue the development of the non-aviation area, an important source of earnings for the company. Thomas Schnalke emphasises: "We have begun to increase retail shopping and parking opportunities significantly in order to match both the increase in importance of the airport as a hub and growing user requirements.” With a new rental car centre and the adjacent P7 terminal car park the number of parking spaces will grow by more than 5,000 this year. In addition, a new car park for long-stay parking is being built next to the current P4 car park.

Economic development

"In 2007 earnings from airport operations were increased by more than EUR 6 million to around EUR 267.6 million" according to Thomas Schnalke. Growth also came from the increase in flights that was made possible under the operating licence granted in November 2005 and the resulting increase in the number of passengers. Earnings in the non-aviation area grew last year in adjusted terms from EUR 115.7 million in 2006 to EUR 134.2 million in 2007.[1] This was primarily achieved by increasing the quality of services offered in the area of travel and gastronomy and by an increase in the area of advertising.

At year end 2007 the group employed 2,249 staff. As Dusseldorf’s largest workplace, with around 16,500 jobs and 230 companies based here, the airport provides considerable employment impulses for the state of NRW (North-Rhine Westphalia). According to its latest survey of workplaces, the Trade Research Institute at the University of Cologne (IfH) found that the number of people employed at the airport increased by around 700 within the space of one year, between June 2006 and June 2007.

Traffic development

At 17,831,855 the number of passengers reached a new record in 2007, seeing growth of 7.5% compared with the previous year. The number of take-offs and landings increased by 5.8% to 227,899 flight movements. These results confirm Dusseldorf Airport’s position as the third largest airport in Germany behind Munich and Frankfurt. A total of 77 airlines operated scheduled and charter flights to and from Dusseldorf. They served a total of twelve domestic and 168 foreign destinations in a total of 50 countries. The traffic strategy was characterised by three main areas of emphasis: the direct linking of strong economic centres, non-stop connections to important international air transport hubs and the development of hub functions in Dusseldorf.

The main driver of growth in Dusseldorf continues to be intercontinental traffic, which grew at above average rates in 2007, experiencing an passenger increase of over 17.9 %. Prominent examples of this trend include the American airline Northwest Airlines, with a new daily connection to Detroit, and the Air Berlin group with more frequent flights to the USA and Bangkok. The growing low-cost segment with a 26.5 % share of total passenger numbers also contributed to the positive development in Dusseldorf.

Prospects

The prospects for Dusseldorf International during the first few months of 2008 have been excellent. The NRW ministry of transport gave the go-ahead for test operations that involved increasing the number of flight movements on the main south runway, even in single runway operations, from 40 to 45 per hour. "The testoperations allow us to adapt more flexibly to the high demand from our airlines", says Christoph Blume.

The summer timetable with 91 weekly, in part new long-haul flights, has enabled the airport to demonstrate a more marked profile, particularly in intercontinental transport. The Air Berlin group is currently strengthening its commitment and using the airport as its long-haul hub with new flights offered, additional staff and extensions to its infrastructure. From 1 May the airline will be flying to both Beijing and Shanghai – two new destinations from Dusseldorf. Lufthansa will be stationing an additional three long-range Airbus A340-300s at NRW’s largest airport and flying with them to Toronto, New York and Chicago. Both airlines are using the largest airport in NRW for hub functions in their route networks. Dusseldorf International will be investing approximately EUR 300 million over the next three years in order to continue satisfying the requirements that an air traffic hub entails. The planned construction measures involve the operational infrastructure on the one hand, and on the other an extended offering for passengers in the non-aviation area.

[1] Comparisons of the profit and loss statement with the accounts of the previous year is in some areas only partly possible as other subsidiary earnings such as workshop services have been included in the sales figures for the first time. In the previous year these earnings were included under other operating income.

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