Zurich Airport cuts full year profit target.

SYDNEY (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) - Flughafen Zurich AG operator of Zurich Airport, reported a 7.3% fall in net profit to CHF3.8 million for the first half of 2005.

The result was despite a 4.3% increase in passenger numbers (to 8.5 million), due mainly to a rebound in transfer traffic, which now accounts for 29.3% of the total. Unique expects a higher profit for the full year 2005 than in 2004, but stated the targeted 50% increase in profit is “overly ambitious”.

The first half result fell short of expectations, mainly because earnings in the duty-free segment were lower than anticipated – but these problems are being addressed, according to Unique.

Meanwhile, the airport’s major airline operator, SWISS, announced a net loss of CHF89 million for the six months ended 30-Jun-05 compared to a CHF33 million loss in the previous corresponding period. SWISS has been under intense pressure from LCC competition on its European shorthaul network. SWISS plans to streamline its shorthaul fleet and further coordinate its network with takeover partner, Lufthansa.

Despite SWISS’ ongoing troubles, Zurich Airport expects to handle 18 million passengers for the full year and an improvement in profit in the second half, due to the seasonal demand, lower capital costs and upward trend in commercial business.

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