DAA bids for airports in Asia and Middle East

Geoff Percival

State-owned airport operator DAA has tabled bids for the running of a number of international airports, after having seen a successful first full year operating part of the King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

The company last year opened an office in Bahrain for its DAA International airport management business and it is understood that the business is targeting numerous contracts around the Middle East and Asia from that base.

Closer to home, the company has not ruled out tabling bids for airports in central and eastern Europe should tenders open in the future.

It is understood that while bids have been tabled, for parts of unnamed Middle Eastern and Asian hubs, all processes are at a very early stage, with no indication available as yet that any bid could prove successful.

“DAA International continues to seek new opportunities and is actively involved in several ongoing tender processes for a spread of projects ranging from full terminal management contracts to advisory and training contracts,” the DAA said as it published its financial results for 2017 last week.

Those results detailed a strong performance for the owner of Dublin and Cork airports last year. Revenues were up by 8% at €855m. Earnings rose 9.5% to €271m, on an EBITDA basis, and net debt was down 5% at €541m.

Post-tax profits jumped 16% to €125m and the DAA recommended paying the State a dividend of €37.4m for 2017, up from one of €29.1m for 2016.

DAA International was awarded the five-year contract to manage KKIA’s new terminal - the company is responsible for overseeing facilities management of the terminal, its maintenance, engineering and cleaning and is in charge of its commercial concessionaires, in February 2016.

Last year saw 13 million passengers use the terminal; a record year of domestic passenger growth.

In all, last year, DAA’s international businesses, which also includes its retail arm, grew revenue by 7% to €247m.

DAA is also looking to grow its travel retail business, Aer Rianta International (ARI), which owns a 20% share of Dusseldorf Airport and has business interests in southern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.

A new ARI retail development is due to open at Abu Dhabi Airport’s new Midfield Terminal next year, while ARI also intends to take a stake in a retail operation at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

DAA is also looking to boost flight connectivity through Dublin Airport to and from India, South Africa, Asia and parts of midwestern US in the next three-to-five years.

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