January 22, 2019 / 8:09 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Vienna Airport sees 2019 profit up 10 pct thanks to new routes

(Adds outlook, CEO)

VIENNA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Vienna Airport said on Tuesday it expects 2019 net profit to rise 10 percent, helped by an increase in the number of passengers, who it hopes will be lured by new long-haul routes and more low-cost offers.

The operator of one of Europe’s main centres for eastern European destinations sees net profit reaching at least 165 million euros ($187 million) on revenue of more than 820 million euros this year, thanks to new routes to Canada and Japan and new short-haul and medium-haul destinations served by IAG’s Vueling, Wizz Air and Ryanair.

Vienna Airport, which will publish 2018 earnings on Feb. 26., said it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to exceed 370 million euros this year. It has forecast EBITDA of more than 350 million euros for 2018.

The airport operator said it would increase the dividend by around 30 percent, in two stages, to a ratio of 60 percent from 50 percent.

The group reported an 11.3 percent increase in passengers last year to a record high 34.4 million and forecast passenger growth of 8 to 10 percent to more than 38 million travellers this year. ($1 = 0.8811 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)

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