Updated Wednesday, February 28, 2024-12:37

The airport manager Aena registered a net profit of 1,630.8 million euros last year, which means definitively leaving behind the crisis in the airline sector caused by the pandemic and increasing profits by 80.9% compared to 2022, when scored 901.5 million.

According to the information sent by the airport manager to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the 2023 profit was also 13.1% higher than that of 2019, the year before the pandemic.

Total revenues increased to 5,141.8 million euros, which represents an increase of 21.3% compared to 2022. Aeronautical revenues were 2,858 million euros, 18.5% more than in 2022.

For its part, commercial income, with sales that exceed 2019 levels, reached 1,552 million euros, achieving an increase of 25.2% compared to 2022. Income from fixed and variable rents billed and collected in the period they rose 21.8%.

In recent months, the group has renewed most of the allotments of spaces at the airports that it awards through a multi-year competition.

The president of Aena, Maurici Lucena, announced this morning that the company will maintain its dividend policy in the update of its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan that it will present to the markets next Thursday, March 7.

"80% pay out (percentage of profits delivered to shareholders) will be confirmed," Lucena said.

Along these lines, the president of Aena has recognized that the high level of dividend payments corresponds to the financial situation of the company, which faces the expansion of Barajas as a major investment in the coming years and the approval of a similar plan in El Prat.

At the Madrid airport, the main unknown to be deciphered is whether Brussels will end up accepting the terms of the Iberia Air Europa merger, with which the airline wants to expand its control over the infrastructure.

To a large extent, IAG's weight would be offset by promoting the new terminal 1,2,3 so that other airlines can establish connections from there, especially with Asia.

Meanwhile, as shareholders, the main beneficiaries of this profit policy are the State, which controls 51% of the capital, and the British billionaire Chris Hohn, with 6.2%.

"We continue to feel very comfortable with this remuneration policy," since, as he recalled, the debt is now twice the gross operating profit (Ebitda).

"This allows us to comfortably face a payout percentage that would be very high for other sectors and companies," he concluded.

In reference to the strategic plan, he also announced that it will have "more ambitious goals because those that have been in force since November 2022 have become obsolete sooner than we thought."

In fact, he was convinced that air traffic will continue to rise during 2024, after the historical record of 2023. "We are in a very sweet moment," he stated.