14 November 2023
Record air traffic over Italy driven by international flights
Rome, 14 November 2023 - The Board of Directors of ENAV S.p.A., in their meeting held today under the chairmanship of Alessandra Bruni, approved the Interim Financial Report as at 30 September 2023.
The first nine months of 2023 were characterised by continued strong growth in air traffic, reaching the highest level ever recorded in Italy. En-route service units increased by 4.0% in comparison to 2019, a record year for Italian aviation.
Chief Executive Officer Pasqualino Monti said: The positive trend in the first nine months of 2023 confirms that the air traffic demand in the Italian airspace is very strong. We are seeing an interesting trend and we expect to end the year in line with the positive forecasts issued by Eurocontrol. The Company is continuing to invest in modernising the airspace infrastructure, ensuring the standard levels of safety and quality of service. We maintained excellent performance even during the summer season, which is the busiest period in terms of traffic volumes. In addition to pursuing projects related to the core business, expansion and diversification in the non-regulated market remain a central element in the Group's industrial strategy.
En-route traffic, in terms of service units, increased by 11% in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period of 2022. Domestic air traffic (flights departing from and arriving at an Italian airports) slightly decreased (-2.6%) compared to 2022, having already recovered the level of pre-pandemic volumes last year, while international traffic service units (flights departing from or arriving at a foreign airport) grew by 17.1%. Overflight traffic (flights crossing Italian airspace without landing) instead increased by 12.7%
Terminal traffic, in the nine months of 2023, grew by 10.7%, in terms of service units, compared to the corresponding period of 2022. The increase in traffic volumes was generalised throughout Italy. Charging zone 1, referring entirely to Rome Fiumicino airport, showed an increase of 29.9%, compared to the same period of 2022. Charging zone 2, represented by the airports of Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice Tessera and Bergamo Orio al Serio, recorded an increase of 10.4%, in terms of service units, in the first nine months of 2023. Finally, charging zone 3, which includes all other national airports, recorded an increase of 4.2% in terms of service units.
In fact, revenues from operations increased by 7.2% and stood at €756.7 million.
Total consolidated revenues in the first nine months of 2023 amounted to €740.2 million, up 3.6%, compared to the corresponding period of last year, which was negatively impacted by the balance component for €44.6 million, mainly due to the recovery of the balances recognised in the 2020-2021 combined period, a negative effect partly offset by the recognition of the inflation balance, which reflects the increase in this component compared to the forecast in the Performance Plan.
Non-regulated market revenues reached €26.6 million, in line with the first nine months of 2022, mainly due to activities carried out in support of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, for the supply of Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) system licences to the Indian Service Provider and for modernisation and system installation activities carried out at Libyan airports, in addition to the controls of the radio assistance systems set up at airports in Croatia and Qatar.
Total operating costs in the first nine months of 2023 amounted to €520.2 million, an increase of 5.2% compared to the same period of 2022, mainly due to higher personnel costs also related to additional activities linked to the management of high air traffic volumes. Personnel costs amounted to €430 million, an increase of 7.3% compared to the same period of last year. This increase is mainly due to (i) the effect on 2023 of the renewal of the economic part of the national collective labour agreement of the Parent Company and Techno Sky, which was signed in November 2022, (ii) the increase in Group headcount, particularly operational and technical and (iii) the increase in the variable cost component as a result of the higher traffic volumes managed, compared to the same period of the previous year.
Consolidated EBITDA stood at €220 million for the first nine months of the year, in line with the same period in 2022 with an EBITDA margin of 29.7%.
Consolidated operating profit (EBIT) amounted to €131.7 million, with an EBIT margin of 17.8%.
For the aforementioned effects and the increase in financial expenses, mainly due to the rise in interest rates on variable rate bank debt, which was impacted by the rate increase particularly during the reference period, the ENAV Group closed the first nine months of 2023 with a consolidated net profit of €86.3 million, down by approximately €5.5 million from the same period of 2022.
Net financial debt amounted to €329.9 million at 30 September 2023, an improvement of €77.9 million compared to the figure recorded as of 31 December 2022. The change in net financial debt is mainly due to the effect of income and payments dynamics related to day-by-day operations, which produced a positive cash flow, closely linked to the recovery of air transport activities which produced higher cash-in from the Parent Company’s core business.
Given the traffic volumes handled in the first nine months of the year and those expected in the last quarter, which support the Group’s solid performance, the 2023 outlook already known to the market is confirmed.