Impact of Size and Ownership on the Financial Performance of European Commercial Airports

Little research has been conducted on the financial performance of airports, especially in Europe. This paper employs benchmarking analysis to examine and compare the impact of different airport sizes and ownership structures on the financial performance of European airport companies. The sample consists of 188 European airport companies managing a total of 393 commercial airports. Financial performance is measured from four different perspectives: liquidity, activity, leverage and profitability, using 11 well-established financial metrics during the period 2007–2019. The findings confirm that size and ownership matter for airport financial performance. However, although an initial inspection reveals that medium-sized airports and private airport companies have the best overall performance, there are major differences in relation to different performance areas. For instance, small airport companies show higher liquidity performance and lower profitability, while large airport companies are the most indebted. Furthermore, public airport companies show superior liquidity performance and lower levels of indebtedness and profitability. This analysis provides policy guidance as to which airport companies are better equipped to manage unexpected challenges, such as that posed by the recent COVID-19 crisis, as well as future challenges such as sustainability issues, quality improvements, capacity constraints and attracting private investments.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01887075
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2023 9:23AM