October 25, 2018 / 11:54 AM / 23 days ago

More tourists, local travellers boost profits of Serbia's Belgrade airport

An IranAir Airbus A320 passengers aircraft is greeted with a water cannon salute on arrival at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport, Serbia, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport posted a 5 percent rise in third quarter profit to 1.7 billion dinars ($16.40 million) on Thursday, boosted by more tourists visiting the country and locals taking more flights.

In March, Serbia signed an agreement that will allow Europe’s biggest construction and concession firm Vinci (SGEF.PA) to operate the airport AERO.BEL over the next 25 years.

Under the deal, Vinci had to pay 501 million euros ($616 million) for the concession and invest another 732 million euros in the airport, the biggest in the Balkan country.

Airport Nikola Tesla’s revenues in the third quarter stood at 3.29 billion dinars, on 1.59 billion dinars in expenditures, it said.

In the first nine months of 2018, the airport made a net profit of 2.77 billion dinars, up 3.1 percent on the same period a year ago.

The company said earlier this month that it carried 4.401 million passengers between January and September, a 6 percent rise on the year.

Airport Nikola Tesla’s shares, traded on Belgrade’s Belex stock exchange, stood at 1,677 dinars on Wednesday, unchanged from the day before.

(1 euro = 118.4462 Serbian dinars)

($1 = 103.6300 Serbian dinars)

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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