Return to a positive result
Genève Aéroport posted a profit of CHF 61.8 million in 2022 before the retrocession to the State of Geneva and CHF 46.3 million after the retrocession. At the height of the health crisis the company accumulated losses of CHF 218.4 million in 2020 and 2021.
Thanks to the combined effect of strict control of operating costs and higher aviation fees, Genève Aéroport is improving its profitability. The EBITDA margin is up 5.7 points from 2019.
Debt has peaked and started to fall in 2022, in line with the strategy approved by Board of Directors.
The State of Geneva is working with the airport to help it emerge from the crisis and has decided to limit the amount of the retrocession to 25% of profit for 2022, even though the agreement on objectives specifies 50%. This is a bold decision that will allow Genève Aéroport to control its level of debt and assist it in organising the investments planned to decarbonise the airport infrastructure by 2037.
in million CHF
|Operating cash flow||157,1||-26,2||-8,6|
|Investing cash flow||-61,2||-121,1||-126,5|
*in 2022 after deduction of the retrocession to the State.
**Borrowings and other non-current and current debts, less cash and cash equivalents and short term investment
|EBIDTA / Turnover||37,4%||-7,5%|
|Net profit / Turnover||11%||-42,5%|
|Operating cash flow / Investing cash flow||256,6%||-21,7%|
|Net debt / EBIDTA||4,32||n/a*|
Revenue rises 102.4%
Driven by the recovery in passenger traffic, revenue rose by 102.4% year on year in 2022 to reach CHF 423.1 million. By way of reminder, turnover was CHF 493.9 million at the end of 2019, before the crisis.
Aviation revenue increased 130.7% compared to 2021. This rise was caused by the higher traffic and the fee increase of CHF 4.45 per passenger for a full year. Passenger fees were put up in July 2021. This will make it possible to repay the heavy investments made in recent years to adapt the infrastructure, notably the construction of the new East Wing that came into service in December 2021.
Non-aviation revenue (retail, parking, rent, etc.) rose by 72.5%. As passengers returned, retail revenue increased CHF 46 million or 151.1%. The strongest recovery was in fees associated with catering. All outlets reopened by February 2022, after remaining partially or totally closed in 2021.
Aviation revenue as a share of the turnover of Genève Aéroport increased. This accounted for 58.6% at the end of 2022, having been 51.5% at the end of 2021. The change reflects the impact of the CHF 4.45 per passenger increase in aviation taxes.
Distribution of income
Aeronautical income(gray) and non-aeronautical income(blue). Data presented in %.
In million of CHF
|Share of profit paid to the State in Y+1||39,4||42,6||42,0||0,0||0,0||15,4|
|Investment cash flow||-119,0||-143,8||-232,5||-126,5||-121,1||-61,2|
|Passengers (in million)||17,4||17,7||17,9||5,6||5,9||14,1|
*in 2022 after deduction of the retrocession to the State. In 2017, 2018, 2019: before retrocession to the State.
2022 EBITDA up on 2019
The EBITDA margin was again positive at 37.4%, confirming the ability of Genève Aéroport to bounce back as traffic recovers. This confirms Genève Aéroport’s resilience to the traffic recovery. The combined impact of higher fees and strict operating cost management pushed the margin up 5.7 percentage points from 2019, the year before the crisis, when it stood at 31.7%.
The positive shift in this indicator shows the improvement in the economic performance of Genève Aéroport, which was the fruit of a collective effort to optimise and control costs at every level of the company during and while emerging from the health crisis.
Operating costs under control and scarcely affected by inflation
Operating expenditure naturally went up as activity returned, reaching CHF 264.7 million at the end of 2022 (up 17.8% from 2021). Non-staff operating expenditure rose by CHF 20.1 million to CHF 119.3 million, an increase of 20.3% on 2021 but lower than budgeted thanks to the strict cost monitoring at all levels of the company.
Staff costs in 2022 were under control and rose by CHF 19.9 million from 2021 as the reduced working time system came to an end. This proved an effective measure for saving jobs at the peak of the health crisis.
At the end of 2022 Genève Aéroport employed 971.8 FTEs (full-time equivalents), the same as in September 2017. At 31 December 2021 there were 997.9 FTEs. This trend is the result of a very strict replacement policy and cuts to a small number of positions that no longer met current requirements.
Genève Aéroport was very little affected by the high inflation in energy prices in 2022, largely because it has multi-year contracts.
Retrocession to the State of Geneva
Because of the mandatory nature of the retrocession on 2022 profits, a provision for CHF 15.5 million was recognised in the 2022 financial statements; before the health crisis it was charged against equity.
In a decree dated 14th September 2022, the Council of State decided to set the 2022 retrocession on the profits of Genève Aéroport at 25% of profit before retrocession, even though the agreement on objectives specifies 50%. By reducing the amount of the retrocession, the Council of State will allow the airport to control debt and invest in projects contributing to the energy transition such as GeniLac.
Investments in 2022 came to CHF 60.4 million, lower than in the preceding years, and the emphasis was on completing key projects in the strategic planning to develop infrastructure, notably the replacement of the baggage sorting system.
Debt has peaked and Genève Aéroport is now cutting its borrowings
Genève Aéroport has started the process of reducing its debt, in line with the strategy approved by Board of Directors.
Debt net of liquidity and short term investments fell CHF 88 million to CHF 685 at the end of 2022, against CHF 773 million at the peak at the end of 2021.
Genève Aéroport returned to the bond market before yields rose to prefinance some of the repayment of the CHF 300 million bond loan taken out during the COVID crisis, which is due to mature in May 2023. With this in mind, a new loan of CHF 100 million was successfully issued in September 2022.
The CHF 200 million facility voted by the Grand Council of Geneva on 28 January 2022 has not been drawn. So far the State has not had to release these funds, which were seen and intended as a safety net to be used only in the event of another dramatic and extended downturn in traffic.
Given the prospects for traffic and the activity seen in January and February, 2023 should see a continuation of the repayment of debt that started in 2022.