Aena’s airports ended 2020 in losses after seven years of increases in traffic and profits. Red numbers mark 126.8 million in the year of the pandemic, a figure that contrasts with the 1,442 million won in 2019. Within the critical status of the accounts, the company improves the estimate of losses expected by analysts consulted by Bloomberg of 190 million (average range between 155 and 230 million).
The impact of the health crisis on income has been 2,262.9 million. The fall compared to 2019 is 50.2%, to 2,242 million. Ebitda, of 714 million, shows a contraction of 74.2% compared to the 2,766 million a year ago. This last magnitude includes the 22.7 million contributed by London-Luton and the remainder of 66.8 million by Aena Brasil after updating the value of the concessions in that country, where the balance of contracts is sought in the face of the debacle of traffic. The Spanish concession of the Murcia airport collects, for its part, a deterioration of 45.3 million.
Despite the impacts, Aena’s ebitda also improves the 679 million expected by the consensus of analysts.
The company declares 2,065 million in cash, to which it can add 845 million available in its promissory note program.
The 72.4% drop in passenger traffic in the Spanish airport network, to 76.1 million, has led to the regulated income of the aeronautical activity to a decrease of 67.1%, marking 986 million. The number of passengers fell as much as 99% in the weeks of global confinement.
The commercial business, based essentially on the rental of space in the terminals, decreased by 16.4% in turnover, to 1,046 million, but included at December 31 an item of 635 million euros in concept of Guaranteed Annual Minimum Income (RMGA).
The company collects this last accounting entry as required by IFRS 16 (leases), but acknowledges that it has not collected. Of the 635 million, 198 million derive from the first state of alarm (from March 15 to June 20, 2020), for which Aena has proposed a 100% exemption to its tenants in the RMGA.
Aena declares 2,065 million in cash, to which it can add 845 million available in its promissory note program
On the collection of rents Aena maintains a pulse with some of its largest tenants for the amount of rents in full collapse of the activity. The airport network manager proposed the aforementioned discount of 100% during the months of the first state of alarm and of 50% from June 21 to September 8 of this year. An offer to which is added the 100% discount to merchants affected by the complete closure of terminals. Aena has defended that with this aid it goes beyond what is established in the Royal Decree Law to support the tourism, hospitality and trade sector (RDL 35/2020), and that it completes saving measures of around 800 million for its tenants between 2020 and 2021 on the minimum rent that they should have paid under normal circumstances.
For now, the company has revealed this morning that 56.2% of commercial customers, holders of 72 contracts and weighing 13.2% on the RMGA, have adhered to the proposal. However, those with the greatest weight remain for Aena. Until a few dates ago, among those who rejected the invoices were Dufry, Areas and SSP. During the negotiations for the rebalancing of the concession contracts of merchants, restaurateurs, financial institutions and other businesses installed in the Spanish terminals, many of these have demanded a reduction in rent comparable to the fall in air traffic.
“For illustrative purposes, if this proposal had been accepted by all commercial operators, the amount of the pending RMGA invoiced in the affected activities would go from the current 620.3 million euros to 179.5 million euros. The impact on cash would occur in 2021. At the income level, the difference between the two amounts (440.7 million euros) would be adjusted as a linear lower income from the date of the agreements and during the duration of each of the contracts affected ”, explained Aena in its presentation to the CNMV.
Discounts to airlines
In search of the reactivation of traffic before the summer season that begins on April 1, the Aena board has approved an extraordinary incentive for airlines based on the recovery of operations until October 31.
The company rewards the percentage of recovery from minimum thresholds with respect to the production of 2019: for the first three months (April, May and June) a starting level of 30% is established and, for the last four months, 45% % recovery. Flights from these percentages of recovery of the activity with respect to the same months of 2019, regardless of the number of travelers, will see the landing rate reduced by the same percentage as that of its reactivation.
Under normal circumstances this rate has a weight close to 20%, in the fare load borne by the airlines, but with the lower current load factor for aircraft, this component of the global fare has increased its weighting in the costs of any airline. Last year, the Air Lines Association (ALA) asked that the incentive focus on lowering the passenger rate, but Aena maintains the reduction on the landing rate to reactivate operations regardless of the passage.
The new discount occurs simultaneously with the application of the rate freeze planned as of this March. Aena has relied on a forecast of 137 million travelers for this year, still affected by the restrictions to fly. The figure represents an 80% jump compared to the traffic of 2020.
The company chaired by Maurici Lucena also highlighted this morning the savings of 405 million euros between April and December of last year. A cut that derives from the adjustment of capacity and other austerity measures with the aim of preserving cash while it has been decided to keep the workforce at 100%.
Aena already raised the landing rate reduction mechanism launched in June in October last year. The aid to the airlines was open until March 31, 2021 and sought to lower the price of additional traffic, from predetermined thresholds, with the discount in the landing rate.
In the October supplement, Aena discounted all operations in the same proportion to the production recovered from a very low level of 20% compared to flights from the previous winter season (2019/2020).
The model is maintained, but the thresholds rise to 30% from April 1 to June 30, and to 45% during the months of July, August, September and October.