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Mon, May 14, 2012

Fraport CEO Schulte: New Runway Represents Important Milestone

Says Improvements Create Climate For Sustainable Growth In The Region

For Fraport AG's executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte, the year 2011 marks a decisive milestone in the company's history. Speaking at Fraport AG's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday, May 11, 2012, in Frankfurt,-Hochst, Schulte said "With the opening of Frankfurt Airport's Runway Northwest, we have laid the foundation for the future development of our company - while creating sustainable growth opportunities for the city of Frankfurt and the entire state of Hesse. The new runway finally provides us with the necessary capacity gain to guarantee Hesse's and Germany's long-term international connectivity."

Fraport's CEO also presented a positive operating result for 2011: "With more than 56 million passengers at Frankfurt Airport, we set a new record in 2011. This is an outstanding result, particularly in view of the overall difficult economic environment and the debt crisis in Europe," stressed Schulte. He also highlighted two other successful operating results at Franfkurt Airport (FRA): the excellent traffic punctuality rates and higher passenger satisfaction, which markedly improved thanks to Fraport's "Great to Have You Here!" service initiative.

Schulte said Fraport also performed well financially in 2011. He said the Fraport Group's revenue rose by eight percent to almost $3.1 billion, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased by about 13 percent to more than $1.04 billion. Adjusted for a base-year effect resulting from the release of tax provisions, the underlying Group result improved by about $77 million to $324 million. Schulte stressed Fraport's four business segments all played a role in the company's positive performance in 2011. As in previous years, Fraport's international business in particular contributed to the overall positive result: "Along with our Frankfurt Airport home base, Fraport's majority-owned airports in Antalya (Turkey), Lima (Peru), Varna and Burgas (Bulgaria) represent a particularly successful part of our portfolio of international airports - allowing us to participate in attractive and growing markets," explained Schulte. Thus, Fraport AG's executive and supervisory boards will recommend to the shareholders a dividend of EUR1.25 per share once again for fiscal year 2011.

Fraport's CEO also focused on the aircraft noise issue and the ensuing protest action, pointing out that both the positive and negative effects of Frankfurt Airport's expansion were two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, the construction of the new runway was in the public interest and a key factor for the prosperity of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region and the state of Hesse, and for creating thousands of new jobs. On the other hand, Schulte also confirmed his commitment to implement further noise abatement measures as soon as possible: "As a result of the airport's expansion, many residents are now additionally and/or more affected by the impact of air traffic - particularly those residents living in the approach flight corridor of the new landing runway. For many, this is a difficult situation and we take their concerns very seriously. Thus, it is our duty to implement as a matter of urgency all 'active' and 'passive' noise abatement measures agreed upon in the new 'Alliance for Noise Protection 2012."

Equally clear, Schulte confirmed the need to ensure the aviation industry's competitiveness in Germany and Europe: "The aviation industry operates in an environment of intensified global competition. Imposing ever-stricter conditions and restrictions on airport companies, regarding the management of airport buildings and operational facilities, will impair the competitiveness of our industry as a whole. Likewise, the introduction of an air passenger tax by a single state, or the launch of the emissions trading system (ETS) by the European Union - if these policies are not sufficiently coordinated, well in advance, within an international framework - will have an equally negative effect on our industry's competitiveness."

Schulte said he expects passenger growth at FRA not to exceed four percent in 2012, mainly due to the constraints resulting from strikes and the sluggish economy in many euro zone countries. Fraport's revenue is expected to increase to more than EUR2.5 billion, while EBITDA is forecast to grow by at least five percent. The Group result is expected to remain at approximately the same level as in 2011.

FMI: www.fraport.com

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