Flughafen Wien AG

Q1 preview: record top and bottom line ahead

Henry Wendisch14 May 2024 05:46

Topic: FWAG's Q1 results are due on Thursday, May 16th and we expect solid top-line growth and proportionate EBITDA growth, while EBIT and net income should show disproportionate growth and should mark new record levels. In detail:

Sales should grow by 17% yoy to € 212m (eCons: € 212m), driven by a combination of passenger growth (+14% yoy on group level, + 11% yoy in Vienna) and an increase in airport charges of 9.7% yoy (c. 40% of sales; effective as of Jan'24).

Accordingly, EBITDA is seen to grow by 18% yoy to € 79m (37.4% margin; eCons: € 79.5m) due to FWAG's low operating leverage with OPEX increasing proportionate to sales by +16% yoy € 135m. While the largest part of OPEX should stem from rising personnel costs (eNuW: € 90m, +18% yoy), FWAG usually incurrs higher material costs (mostly energy costs and de-icing liquids; eNuW: € 20m, +13% yoy) for its operations during winter.

Assuming constant D&A of € 34.4m (Q4'23: € 34.4m) EBIT should arrive at € 45m (+29% yoy; eCons: € 46m). Following the repayment of all of its debt in Q4'23 coupled with a strong net cash position of € 362m , which yields solid interest income, FWAG should report a positive financial result of € 3.7m, implying EBT to grow by 43% yoy to € 48m (eCons: € 48m). With our effective tax rate estimate of 26%, net income before minorites should thus arrive at € 36m (+43% yoy; eCons: € 36m). Noteworthy, figures mentioned above would mark new all-time records for FWAG, highlighting its sound operating turnaround after the COVID pandemic.

Futhermore, we expect a busy summer ahead, as the current summer flight plan looks set to outperform even the busy summer from last year. Therefore, Q2 and Q3 (FWAG's most important quarters) should also come in well above last year. With the Q1 release FWAG will also publish Apr'24 traffic results, which we expect to come in at 3.4m (+6% yoy) passengers on group level (2.59m in VIE; 0.78 in MAL; 0.04m in KSC) and kick off the busy summer ahead (see p. 2 for FY'24e passenger development).

Albeit sound operating performance, FWAG's shares only show only a 16% catch-up potential to our PT of € 58.00 (based on DCF). Thus, we reiterate our HOLD recommendation, while on the other hand, existing investors should continue to benefit from growing and stable dividends.

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