Aena will freeze its investment plan and implement a cost savings plan with the renegotiation of service contracts (security, cleaning, maintenance, etc.) in order to protect its cash reserve to face the impact of the Covid crisis -19, as the company assured in a relevant event sent this Thursday to the CNMV. And it is that the air traffic restriction measures adopted after the declaration of alarm has produced a 97% decrease in passenger traffic at Spanish airports. In other words, only 3 out of every 100 travelers set foot in airports compared to exactly one year ago.
Among the battery of measures presented by the airport manager to contain costs, no reference is made to the presentation of any employment regulation file (ERTE). Regarding the dividend, he assures that he will “evaluate” a proposal when he holds the general shareholders' meeting, which was scheduled for March 31, but was postponed without a date.
Aena's board of directors proposed to distribute a dividend of 7.58 euros gross per share with a charge to the result of the 2019 financial year, in which it obtained a net profit of 1,442 million euros, 8.6% more than in the year previous. This dividend, which involves distributing 80% of the net result and represents an increase of 9.4% compared to the previous year, would represent direct income for the State of 580 million euros, as it owns 51% of the airport manager through from Enaire.
The company has highlighted that as a consequence of the measures adopted by the state of alarm, it has been affected by a drastic reduction in air traffic and the total practice of paralysis of commercial business in our airport network. Passenger traffic for the month of March in the Spanish airport network had accumulated until the 24th a drop of 45.5% compared to the previous year, although it is now practically paralyzed. And it offers a worrying fact: specifically, on Tuesday the 24th, the reduction in passengers was 97% compared to the same day the previous year.
For this reason, the company estimates that in this situation and due to the lack of visibility on when this trend will subside, it invalidates the traffic estimate and the business prospects for 2020 that were made public at the end of February, “without it is possible to quantify a reasonable estimate of them for the year as a whole “.
The company has already adopted a series of measures to ensure the operability of its services and the availability of liquidity in the short and medium term. Last Monday, the 23rd, it announced that it would concentrate its activity by leaving only one terminal operating in large airports such as Madrid-Barajas or El Prat in Barcelona.
Regarding the contract and hiring adjustment plan, Aena quantifies its effect in a reduction in the average monthly cash outflow from operating expenses of approximately 43 million euros. For its part, the stoppage of the investment program will mean a monthly reduction in average cash outflows of approximately 52 million euros.
Aena ensures that today, it has cash and credit facilities amounting to 1,350 million euros, to which are added its capacity to make issues through the Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) program of up to 900 million euros, of which 350 million euros have been issued.
The issuance of new promissory notes will be evaluated based on the availability of this market. In this sense, he explains that he is in very advanced negotiations with various financial entities to obtain new facilities and loans.