March 16, 2020 / 8:31 AM / 25 days ago

France's ADP warns on virus impact, offers steps to help airlines

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s ADP (ADP.PA) on Monday warned that coronavirus could knock 190 million euros ($212 million) off its core profit as it announced steps to help airlines and closures at some of its airports.

Traveler traffic was down 29% between March 1 and 14 year on year, it said in a statement.

ADP said it was now unlikely to meet its 2020 goal of 3.5%-5.5% growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) if this decline continued as expected.

It said assuming there was a 25% drop in traffic at its Paris hubs between March and June, and falls at other airports in which it has stakes including in Turkey, the hit to EBITDA would be around 190 million euros ($212 million).

In response, ADP said it was considering closing down some boarding areas at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, as well as completely closing its airports in Jordan, Macedonia and Latvia.

It will aim to cut operating expenses by 180 million euros for 2020, it said, as well as introduce measures to help support airlines also suffering due to the impact of the virus.

This included freezing parking fees for airplanes that were immobilized at its Paris airports because of the virus outbreak.

It also said that rent on premises inside closed terminals - home to many duty-free shops - would not be due for the shutdown period.

“An unprecedented operational and financial plan is being launched, including support measures for our customers,” CEO Augustin de Romanet said in a statement.

De Romanet tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; additional reporting by Sarah White; editing by Himani Sarkar

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