Austria's Flughafen Wien stated (19-Jan-2012) it is "expecting an increase of only 0 to 1% in the number of passengers" and growth of 2-3% in maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) in 2012, due to the uncertain economic outlook and the fleet structure changes announced by Austrian Airlines for this year. The airport stated its focus will "therefore be placed, above all, on the sustainable protection of long-term growth perspectives and the strengthening of Vienna’s competitive ability". The most important project in this respect, according to the airport, is the commencement of services in the Skylink, with test trial commencing on 05-Jan-2012. Operations in the Skylink are expected to start during Jun-2012. The Skylink will provide space for more than 31 new shops and 19 gastronomy facilities.
Flughafen Wien: “Despite strong economic headwinds, we will be able to offset a substantial part of the pressure on earnings from the Skylink start-up due to the successful implementation of our cost reduction programme and the completed reorganisation. We are expecting an increase in revenue and, after impairment charges of EUR74 million in 2011, a further improvement in net profit which, however, will remain substantially below recent years. A total of EUR160 million will be invested in 2012 to hold debt at a stable level, while investments for the period up to 2015 were cut from EUR650 million to EUR590 million. In spite of the FWAG hiring freeze, Vienna Airport is still a job creator for the region. Nearly 300 additional employees will be needed for the shops and restaurants in the new Skylink. With current market capitalisation of only approx. 70% of equity/carrying amount, the Flughafen Wien share is grossly undervalued and in no way reflects the overall positive outlook for the company. Although results for 2011 are not yet available, we can now say that the dividend recommendation will not be less than 50% of the prior year amount," Günther Ofner, member of the management board (CFO). Source: Company Statement, 19-Jan-2012.