dFinancial solidity


Royal Schiphol Group's financial policy seeks to ensure a solid financial position and good creditworthiness with at least an A rating from two reputable credit rating agencies. This is vital to our ability to finance the necessary large-scale investments. Profitability is an essential factor in maintaining a high credit rating. The return generated by Schiphol Group determines to what extent we create economic value for our shareholders. It equally determines the extent to which financial stakeholders believe that Schiphol Group is equipped to bear investment risks.

Creditworthiness

Schiphol Group independently raises financing through the capital markets and banks. Good creditworthiness is a prerequisite for safeguarding this ability and being able to make the necessary long-term investments in capacity and quality. The long-term credit rating issued by Standard & Poor's in 2018 remained unchanged at A+ with a stable outlook. Similarly, Moody's long-term rating of A1 remained unchanged with a stable outlook.

Return

Generating a sufficient return is also important to maintain the ability to independently raise financing, as this will enable us to secure access to the capital markets with favourable conditions. The return requirement applied by the Dutch State consists of a return on equity of 5.6%. A return requirement serves as an added incentive to operate cost-effectively and to generate a higher result through non-aviation activities, such as real estate, parking and concessions. The new Aviation Act contains a mechanism permitting Schiphol Group to employ a portion of the return exceeding the standard return to lower the airport charges. With a return on equity of 7.0% in 2018, Schiphol Group satisfies the return requirement.

Focus on cost control

In order to improve returns while maintaining competitive airport charges for our aviation activities, we continuously focus on cost control with due regard for the price-quality ratio. We wish to continue to meet the high expectations of travellers and airlines. A proper consideration of, and insight into, the long-term implications of the choices we make are essential, particularly where new investments are concerned. By focusing on the controlled development of costs while maintaining the necessary quality and performance, we endeavour to maintain our financial flexibility and resilience.

Over 50% of all Aviation costs are directly related to the infrastructure and assets of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. 'Total cost of ownership' as a guiding management principle remains essential if we are to remain cost-effective in the long term. The enhancement of contract management procedures further enables Schiphol to derive greater added value from supplier relationships. Where possible, we challenge suppliers to apply the full extent of their knowledge and expertise to enhance service provision and devise smart, cost-effective and innovative solutions. We do so, for instance, through open market consultation prior to major tenders and by applying Best Value Procurement where relevant.

Aviation business area costs

We monitor the development of our costs via the Work Load Unit indicator (WLU: one passenger or 100 kilogrammes of cargo). In recent years, the costs per WLU at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol indicate a rising trend, with per-WLU operating expenses returning to 2014 levels in 2018. The ongoing growth in the number of passengers gives rise to relatively costly operational measures, which are needed to ensure the quality and safety of operations.

Costs per WLU (Aviation)
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