In 2018, the number of passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol increased to 71 million and the number of air transport movements reached the permitted maximum of 500,000. Additional operational measures were taken in order to streamline growing passenger flows, which resulted in an increase in operating expenses. With the longer term in mind, investments are being made across a number of major projects, including the new pier and terminal, with a view to delivering the required capacity.
In 2018, Royal Schiphol Group's net result decreased by 0.4% to 278 million euros (2017: 280 million). As in previous years, market developments in the real estate sector were highly positive, leading to positive other results from investment property of 107 million euros (compared with 42 million euros in 2017), mainly due to an increase in the value of our real estate portfolio. When adjusted for results from investment property (mainly fair value gains) and several other one-off results in both 2017 and 2018, which are explained further on this chapter, the net result increased by 3.3%, with a decrease in the operating result (11 million euros) and an increased share in the results of associates (14 million euros).
Revenue increased by 51 million euros (3.5%), from 1,458 million euros in 2017 to 1,509 million euros in 2018. Higher revenue, mainly from airport charges, concessions, and rents and leases, was partially offset by the loss of revenue from hotel activities due to the sale of the Hilton Hotel in December 2017.
Rent and leases
Services and activities on behalf of third parties (incl. ST)
Revenue from airport charges is generated by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Eindhoven Airport, and Rotterdam The Hague Airport. In 2018, revenue from airport charges at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol increased by 6.8% to 821 million euros. This can be attributed to a 5.4% increase in airport charges as of 1 April 2018 and a 3.7% increase in passenger numbers compared to 2017. Pursuant to the Aviation Act, Schiphol Group must settle surplus income or deficits with the industry. To this end, an amount to the value of approximately plus or minus 2 million euros will be reflected within the airport charges set for the 2020-2022 period.
The number of air transport movements increased from 496,748 in 2017 to 499,444 in 2018, having reached its permitted maximum of 500,000. Cargo volumes fell 2.5% to 1.7 million tonnes.
Passenger numbers at Eindhoven Airport continued to develop positively in 2018, with an increase of 9.4% to 6.2 million. The number of air transport movements rose by 6.0% to 38,642. The rise in both passenger numbers and air transport movements contributed to an 8.9% increase in revenue from airport charges generated by Eindhoven Airport, to 41.3 million euros.
The number of passengers served by Rotterdam The Hague Airport rose by 12.2% to 1.9 million, and the number of air transport movements increased by 8.8% to 15,649. These positive developments caused revenue from airport charges at Rotterdam The Hague Airport to increase by 10.3% to 26.8 million euros.
The total revenue generated by concessions increased by 3.1% in 2018, reaching 212 million euros. This was mainly due to the growth in passenger numbers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the regional airports. Average retail spending per departing passenger at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol fell by 1.6%, from 13.35 euros in 2017 to 13.13 euros in 2018. Average spending per departing passenger on food and beverage rose from 4.68 euros to 4.81 euros (2.7%).
Total revenue from rents and leases rose by 5.1% to 168 million euros. This increase is mainly attributable to a positive trend in the lease of office buildings at Schiphol-Centre. The commercial real estate occupancy rate in 2018 was 91.7% (2017: 89.6%).
Total parking revenue increased by 1.0% to 125 million euros in 2018. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol saw a small decrease of 1.2 million euros, despite the increased real estate occupancy level and the rise in the number of passengers. The decrease was mainly attributable to less parking capacity being available at Schiphol-Centre due to demolition of a large parking facility to make room for the construction of the new pier and terminal. The growth in passenger numbers at Eindhoven Airport and Rotterdam The Hague Airport led parking revenues outside Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to increase by 2.1 million euros.
Revenues from hotel activities decreased compared to 2017 following the sale of the Hilton Hotel at the end of 2017.
Other income and results from investment property
Other results from investment property amounted to 107 million euros (2017: 42 million euros). The large increase in the value of our investment property from 2015 onwards can be attributed to ongoing favourable market developments and higher occupancy rates, especially for the offices at Schiphol-Centre.
In 2017, the results from investment property included a loss of 42 million euros in the value of two cargo buildings. These buildings will have no direct apron access in the future, as the apron will be used to accommodate additional aircraft stands so as to provide the extra capacity required. Adjusted for this loss, the total fair value gains amounted to 84 million euros in 2017.
Fair value gains and losses on the real estate portfolio
In 2017, the one-off result on the sale of the Hilton Hotel was recognised under this item, as was the valuation of the performance shares in the associate Brisbane Airport Corporation Holdings (BACH). These two transactions made a positive contribution to other income in 2017 of 26 million euros and 12 million euros, respectively.
Outsourcing and other external costs
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment
Other operating expenses
Total operating expenses rose by 69 million euros (5.8%), from 1,179 million to 1,248 million euros. When adjusted for the sale of the Hilton Hotel in December 2017, which caused costs from hotel activities to decrease by 23 million euros, the increase in operating expenses amounted to 92 million euros. This increase was mainly due to continued growth in the number of passengers while the existing infrastructure is operating at full capacity. To ensure the quality and safety of operations, relatively costly operational measures are being implemented. These include the deployment of extra floor management, security and other staff. In order to ensure the operational availability of intensively used assets, higher costs are incurred with regard to maintenance, cleaning and utilities. Finally digitisation caused IT costs to increase.
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment increased by 3 million euros to 267 million euros in 2018. The major increase in capital expenditure continued in 2018. However, most of the new, large assets that will provide additional capacity will come into operation during the next few years. Project related costs (included under outsourcing and other external costs) increased from 15 million euros in 2017 to 19 million euros in 2018.
Employee benefits rose by 16 million euros due to a 6.7% increase in the number of employees, costs of restructurings in several departments, an increase in pension premiums (increase in 2018 of 1.4 percentage point, to 22.9%) and the movement in negotiated wages (increase of 2.5% as per 1 April 2018).
Consumer Products & Services
Alliances & Participations
The operating result increased by 9 million euros, from 359 million euros in 2017 to 368 million euros in 2018. The operating result in 2018 was positively influenced by increased other results from investment property (107 million euros in 2018, compared with 42 million euros in 2017). The operating result in 2017 included one-off other income of 38 million euros (on the sale of the Hilton Hotel and the valuation of the performance shares in BACH) and operating results from the Hilton hotel of 6 million euros. When adjusted for these items, the operating result decreased by 11 million euros to 261 million euros in 2018 (2017: 272 million euros).
The operating result from Aviation stabilised at a loss of 39 million euros. An increase in revenues of 57 million euros (mainly due to the increase in airport charges as of 1 April 2018 and the increase in passenger numbers) was offset by increased expenses, which were mainly attributable to operational measures taken to facilitate passenger growth and fleet development within capacity constraints (costs of security, workforce and outsourced activities), digitisation (IT costs), project-related costs and restructurings.
The operating result posted by Consumer Products & Services fell by 7 million euros in 2018. The decrease in revenue from parking fees at Schiphol, as a consequence of the demolition of P2 in the final quarter of 2017, was offset by increased revenue from commercial services, the leasing of advertising locations, car rental and Premium Services. Operating costs increased mainly due to higher costs for the new Parking products (P6 Valet, P4 Basic Parking), as well as higher costs of employee benefits and depreciation.
The operating result from Real Estate increased by 34 million euros (24.6%). When adjusted for other results from investment property (mainly fair value gains) and income from both operations and sale of the Hilton Hotel in 2017, the operating result from Real Estate increased by 4 million euros in 2018, due to higher revenues from rents and leases. The higher rental income is attributable to improved occupancy in standing buildings and newly issued leaseholds on land.
The operating result for Alliances & Participations in 2017 included a one-off result from the valuation of performance shares held in Brisbane Airport Corporation Holdings of 12 million euros. When adjusted for this, as well as for the higher other results of investment property of 2 million euros, the operating result attributable to Alliances & Participations decreased by 8 million euros in 2018. This was largely due to a higher operating result of Eindhoven Airport N.V. being more than offset by lower operating results from other activities and higher allocated costs.
Financial income and expenses
The net financial income and expenses increased by 4 million euros to 90 million euros in 2018. This increase is mainly attributable to a loss of 9 million euros from the recalculation of the financial lease obligation with respect to The Base office building. The recalculation was triggered by the decision in 2018 to opt for a contractual early repayment option in 2019. At early repayment, penalty interest is due, which is recognised as a 2018 expense. The aforementioned loss is partly offset by an increase in capitalisation of borrowing costs of 3 million euros.
Share in results of associates
The share in the results of associates increased from 73 million euros to 97 million euros. Results from Schiphol's largest two associates, Groupe ADP and BACH, both improved considerably, by 15 million euros and 4 million euros, respectively. Furthermore, Schiphol Logistic Park C.V. issued land in long leases during 2018, contributing an additional 6 million euros to the share in the results of associates.
Share in results of associates
Brisbane Airport Corporation Holdings
Other results of associates
Result of associates
Corporate income tax
Corporate income tax amounted to 90 million euros in 2018, compared with 60 million euros in 2017. The effective tax rate in 2018 was 24.0%, up 6.6 percentage points from 2017 (17.4%). The increase in the effective tax rate in 2018 is caused by the one-off tax expense triggered by the step-by-step reduction in the nominal income tax rate from 25% in 2019 to 20.5% in 2021, which is part of the Belastingplan 2019 and the underlying legislation which was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate in December 2018. The reduction in the nominal income tax rate caused a revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, which resulted in a one-off tax charge of 17 million euros (compared with a one-off tax gain, also due to changing tax rates, of 5 million euros in 2017). As was the case in prior years, the application of the participation exemption to the results of associates meant a reduction of the effective tax rate.
Of the tax burden totalling 90 million euros, 88 million euros comprises Dutch corporate income tax (2017: 61 million euros) and 2 million euros US corporate income tax (2017: -1 million euros).
As a result of the developments mentioned above, the net result for 2018 decreased by 2 million euros to 278 million euros (2017: 280 million euros). The return on equity (ROE) amounted to 7.0% in 2018 (2017: 7.2%).
In 2018, Schiphol invested 581 million euros in property, plant and equipment, up 18.5% compared with 2017 (490 million euros). Of the total investment in 2018, 108 million euros related to the development of the new pier and terminal and the associated infrastructure, 37 million euros to terminal 1 redevelopment, 25 million euros to the extension of the P3 parking garage, 25 million euros to Lelystad Airport, and 41 million euros to the expansion of aprons.
Schiphol Group investments
Movement in the consolidated statement of financial position
Schiphol Group's balance sheet total increased by 10.5% to 7,354 million euros (2017: 6,655 million euros). Shareholders' equity increased by 139 million euros to 4,117 million euros, largely on account of the addition of the 2018 net result of 278 million euros, after payment of the 150-million-euro dividend for 2017.
Non-current assets increased by 453 million euros, mainly within assets under construction or development (282 million euros due to high capital expenditure), investment property (139 million euros due to an increase in fair values) and investments in associates (36 million euros due to the high share in results of associates less dividends received). This was partly offset by a decrease in net deferred tax assets as a consequence of higher deferred tax liabilities (due to the high increase in fair values of investment property) and lower deferred tax assets (due to the reduction in the income tax rate from 25% to (ultimately) 20.5% in 2021).
Current assets increased by 246 million euros, largely as a result of deposits totalling 455 million euros compared to 290 million euros in 2017. The higher balance is the result of 500 million euros in green bonds, which were issued by Schiphol Group in November 2018. The deposits are reported in part under trade and other receivables, or under cash and cash equivalents, depending on their initial term.
The 500-million-euro green bond issuance is also the main reason for the increase in non-current and current liabilities of 569 million euros. The decision in 2018 to opt for contractual early repayment in 2019 caused the financial lease obligation with respect to the office building The Base to move from non-current to current liabilities.
Cash flow developments
Cash flow from operating activities increased by 69 million euros to 526 million euros as a result of the development in working capital of 35 million euros positive in 2018, compared with 9 million euros negative in 2017, and interest received on BACH redeemable preference shares of 23 million euros.
Cash flow from investing activities was positively influenced in 2017 by the sale of the Hilton Hotel for 144 million euros. Excluding this one-off income item, cash flow from investing activities amounted to 626 million euros negative in 2017, compared to 620 million euros negative in 2018. The increase in 2018 by 6 million euros was mainly caused by higher investments in fixed assets of 118 million euros and lower investments in deposits of 115 million euros.
Net cash flow from operating and investing activities - free cash flow - amounted to 94 million euros negative in 2018, compared with 25 million euros negative in 2017. Cash flow from financing activities was 311 million positive (2017: 55 million euros negative) mainly as a result of 440 million euros in net new financing (balance of repayments and borrowings) and a total dividend payment of 150 million euros. Net cash flow in 2018 amounted to 217 million euros positive (2017: 80 million euros negative). Consequently, the net amount of cash balances increased from 170 million euros at the end of 2017 to 387 million euros at the end of 2018.
The total amount of outstanding loans and lease liabilities rose by 463 million euros in 2018 to 2,622 million euros. The increase was mainly the result of 500 million euros in green bonds launched by Schiphol Group in 2018 to invest in increasing the sustainability of its airports. These senior unsecured bonds are due 5 November 2030 and carry an annual coupon of 1.5%.
Schiphol Group has a Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme, making it possible at present to raise funds of up to 3.0 billion euros, of which 1,839 million euros was outstanding as of 31 December 2018. In addition, Schiphol Group has a Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) programme with a limit of 750 million euros and committed undrawn facilities of 400 million euros. This solid financing position is an important asset in view of Schiphol's increased financing needs in the years ahead as a result of the current and envisaged high level of investment.
The most important financing ratios set out in our financing policy are the FFO/total debt and FFO/interest coverage ratios. Funds from operations (FFO) is the cash flow from operating activities adjusted for operating working capital. In 2018, FFO increased from 467 million euros to 491 million euros.
As a consequence of the green bonds issued in November 2018, the FFO/total debt ratio decreased to 18.7% at the end of 2018, compared with 21.6% at end-2017.
The FFO/interest coverage ratio in 2018 was 6.6x, a slight deterioration relative to the 6.9x recorded in 2017. In addition to these two ratios, we apply the leverage ratio (ratio of interest-bearing debt to total equity plus interest-bearing debt). At the end of the financial year, Schiphol Group's leverage ratio stood at 38.9% (2017: 35.2%). Both FFO/interest coverage ratio as well as leverage satisfy the internal requirements of a value higher than 4.0x and between 30.0% and 50.0%, respectively.
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