Malta International Airport plc (MIA) on Tuesday announced that it recorded a pre-tax profit of €49.9 million in the first nine months of 2023, 47.7 per cent higher than the figure from the same period last year (€33.8 million).

These numbers were largely brought about by the airport’s positive traffic results for the period running from January until September 2023. Revenues for the reporting period amounted to €91.6 million, significantly higher than the €66.5 million registered in the opening nine months of 2022.

Staff costs rose by 46.7 per cent to €9.8 million, yet MIA largely attributed this increase to the airport’s growing workforce, which is “supporting the company in managing a busier operation and several large-scale projects while retaining high levels of service”. Similarly, operating expenses were also on the rise, going up to €22.1 million (Q1-Q3 2022: €16.1 million), reflecting MIA’s growth during the reporting period.

Tourism has experienced a sharp upturn in performance following the COVID-19 pandemic, with airports and airlines experiencing pent-up demand throughout 2022 and 2023.

Additionally, MIA’s capital expenditure for the first nine months of 2023 amounted to €16.8 million, with the most notable projects being the continuation of works on Apron X, the expansion of the customs area, as well as initial works on the Terminal Expansion Project. These projects form part of a €175 million investment by the company on the airport's campus, spread across five years.

The Apron X project will see the development of an area of around 100,000 square metres to improve the airport’s aircraft parking capacity and its ability to better handle mixed-fleet operations. The project is on track for the first three parking stands to be in operation by summer 2024.

Additionally, the customs area is set to have its footprint doubled, with it slated for completion in 2023.

The Terminal Expansion Project is more long term, with the first phase seeing a 1,550 square metre westward expansion of the terminal, enabling the introduction of an additional arrivals route to the baggage reclaim area, as well as two more baggage reclaim belts.

As a result of these developments, together with other increases, MIA’s total assets have expanded from €285.1 million as at the end of 2022 to €312 million as at the end of September 2023.

October traffic results

October represented the end of summer for the aviation industry, yet MIA still managed to bring in a total of 771,253 passengers through its doors, a 9.6 per cent increase over 2019 levels.

Similar increases were also reported in seat capacity, with it going up by 6.4 per cent. Despite this increase, strong travel demand over the course of the month prompted the monthly seat load factor to amount to 84.7 per cent.

The top markets during October were Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain.

Italy (47 per cent increase), France (53 per cent increase) and Spain (three per cent increase) all outperformed their respective 2019 results, while the United Kingdom’s (17 per cent decrease) and Germany’s (23 per cent decrease) slow recoveries continued into October.

Revised guidance

Due to the strong financial results and the increase in traffic during October, as well as the positive outlook for the final months of 2023, MIA also revised the guidance it had originally published last August.

The company now expects total traffic to reach 7.8 million passenger movements by the end of the year.

Revenue is expected to reach €118 million, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) is now forecast to reach €74 million.

Net profit, which for the first nine months of the year stood at €32.3 million, is now forecast to amount to €40 million by the end of the year.

MIA expects capital expenditure (CAPEX) to come in between €45 million and €50 million.

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Written By

Fabrizio Tabone

Fabrizio has a passion for the economy and technology, especially when it comes to innovation. Aside from this, he also has a passion for football and movies, and so you will often find him either with a ball to his feet or at the cinema checking out the latest releases.