Strong euro hits passenger spending at Frankfurt airport

BERLIN, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:05pm EDT

BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) - The strength of the euro is putting some overseas travellers off shopping at Frankfurt airport, Germany's busiest hub, the head of airport operator Fraport said on Thursday.

Fraport's Retail & Real Estate unit accounted for 18 percent of group sales and about 40 percent of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) last year.

"High spenders from China, Korea, Japan and Russia are consuming less. We are seeing declines in this customer group in Frankfurt," Chief Executive Stefan Schulte told journalists at an event in Berlin, citing the strong euro as the main reason.

The euro has gained about 7 percent against the Japanese yen over the past 12 months. It is up about 2.4 percent against the U.S. dollar and up more than 9 percent against the Russian rouble.

Schulte added, however, that Fraport's Retail & Real Estate division - which also includes its real estate management activities - had not seen an overall decline in business so far.

Fraport has said net retail revenue per passenger, which mainly comes from lease revenue on retail space, slipped 1.3 percent to 3.69 euros ($5.02) in the first quarter, but that it was sticking to its medium-term goal of 4 euros.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Mark Potter)

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