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Press article fom  13.07.2004

Frankfurt-Hahn heading further to growth

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, 13th July 2004 – The Frankfurt-Hahn Airport GmbH reported its successful mid-year performance figures at today's press conference: with 1.3 million passengers, Frankfurt-Hahn, the first German low-cost airport, has exceeded its previous year's results by 21 percent. In the Cargo Sector, pure air cargo rose by 108 percent to over 28,000 tons in comparison to the previous year. With an increase by 37 percent the total revenues grew even faster than the traffic figures to almost 14 million Euros. The Non Aviation Sector registered the sharpest rate of increase in sales figures: roughly 99 percent growth was realized for infrastructural remuneration, rents and parking. The operating loss (EBITDA) declined from 5,4 million Euros to three million Euros – meaning an approximate bisection compared to previous year. “We are on the right path to our goal, to reach our break even in 2006 and go into black with our total figures in 2008”, says Andreas Helfer, Managing Director of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport.

In a study carried out in April 2004, the Boston Consulting Group drew up a report on "Airports - the Dawn of a New Era": In it the Group states that in order to grow, airports must specialise more, cooperate more fully than they have until now with the airlines and operate more like companies rather than take the role of "infrastructure-offerors" - and this must happen, according to the report, within the next ten years. "We've been achieving this for a long time now with our innovative and special business model", announced Jörg Schumacher, Joint Managing Director of the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport GmbH, at today's press conference on the airport premises of the parent concern, Fraport AG. "We are, and will remain, the first and only true low-cost airport in Germany", he continued.

Traffic figures
Schumacher added, "Yet another study proves that we have hit the nail on the head with our concept – nowadays, there's a stronger trend towards low-cost products in the foodstuffs and consumer goods industries; and the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, for example, recently published a study on the low-cost trend in these two industries. According to this study, if low-cost products had constituted only a fifth of consumers' daily needs in the 1970's, today every third person would be actively looking for bargain prices. And low-cost flights were the forerunners here, the report continues.

“In 1999, together with Ryanair, we paved the way for the low-cost trend in the German air transportation market”, adds Schumacher. In that year, the Hunsrück airport had over 140,000 passengers - in 2002, the numbers exceeded the 1 million mark and in 2003 the figure of 2 million was achieved. And the fast growth continues: “In the first 6 months of this year alone, over 1.3 million passengers took off from our airport - roughly the total number of passengers in 2002", said Schumacher. For this reason Frankfurt-Hahn has made it into tenth position of the German international airports. Frankurt-Hahn counts on approximately three million passengers for this year.

The Cargo sector grew much faster: Over 90,000 tons altogether (including road feeder service) was handled in the first half of this year – 27 percent more than the previous mid-year’s result of 71,463 tons. Pure cargo with over 28,000 tons is showing an increase of 108 percent (mid-year results for 2003 were 13,576 tons). With these successful figures, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has further asserted its position as the ideal cargo site in one of the strongest economical regions in Europe. The forecast for 2004 is 180,000 tons of cargo handled, including trucking. Frankfurt-Hahn is firmly entrenched in fourth position for German Cargo airports, while it is at number 20 of the largest airports in Europe and even at number 91 on the world list. One main reason for this degree of success is the constant popularity of famous cargo airlines in the scheduled and charter flight segments; companies that include names like Air France, Aeroflot, Iran Air, Egypt Air, Royal Jordanian, Air Armenia, MNG Airlines and many more.

Economical development and forecast
"The premise for our low-cost success isn't just based on rising transportation figures - our consistent concept is also an important contributory factor", added Mr. Helfer, the other Joint Director of the airport. Just like the airlines only those airports will survive that have lower costs. So Frankfurt-Hahn only builds what customers need, without adding any extras and frills. “Our terminal investment costs are under 5 Euros per passenger a year - a fraction of the costs that other airports have", he explained. “The investment in Cologne/Bonn for example is with 32 Euros per passenger almost sixfold higher than at our airport” explains Helfer. Cologne/Bonn Airport by its own accounts invested almost 200 million Euros for its Terminal 2 in 2000. “With presently 60 cents per passenger income from concessions and rents we can already finance our total terminal costs. Cologne/Bonn Airport should generate the sixfold number to be economically successful in the low-cost-business. Apart from that we have paid cash for our property, while Cologne owes the Federal Republic of Germany the rent for years”, continues Helfer.

The productivity increased in comparison to last year: The unit costs decreased from 19,97 Euros to 14,71 Euros. Productivity measured against sales per employee rises compared to previous year by 30 percent to 52 T€. Over 10,500 AWUs (airport workload unit) were counted per employee in 2003 (one AWU = one passenger or 100 kilos of air cargo) – and in 2004 about 13,200 AWUs are to be expected. Material and staff costs rise by a 10 percent clearly slower than total revenues.

"Compared to Cologne/Bonn our traffic figures show better economical growth. This confirms our prognosis to reach our break even in 2006 and to write black numbers in 2008”, says Helfer. The economical success depends increasingly on the development of the non-aviation-business. This includes the rent income from the concessionaries in both terminals and the parking fees from the car parks, which meanwhile have space for over 9,600 vehicles. The non-aviation sector will be expanded this year: both existing terminals will be linked up and new businesses, pubs and restaurants brought in. More parking spaces will be created and a new hotel directly in front of the terminals will be constructed as quickly as possible.

Jörg Schumacher describes the planned lengthening of the runway as being Frankfurt-Hahn Airport GmbH’s most vital project. It will lengthen the runway from 3,045 meters to 3,800 meters and is mainly intended to encourage long-haul air cargo transportation companies to come to Hahn and of course to retain existing customers. "We believe we'll have an official decision before the year is out", said Mr. Schumacher.

The growth and the investment for the next years will be strengthened by the fortification of the equity capital with the joining of the State of Hesse. From January 1st 2005 the capital stock will be increased from 30.5 million Euros to 50 million Euros plus a capital reserve of 22 million Euros. This will result in a future share ratio of 65% for Fraport AG and 17.5% each for the States of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate (at the time of writing, Fraport has 73.07% and the Rhineland-Palatinate 26.93%). The States of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse together with Fraport have agreed to a capital injection of 42 million Euros to be invested in the Frankfurt-Hahn Airport GmbH between 2005 and 2009.

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