Václav Havel Airport Prague representatives have concluded a long-term credit framework totalling CZK 7 billion with a consortium of banks. The objective is to further strengthen its financial stability due to the significant negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company's economic results. The loan will also finance the planned sustainable development. The airport wants to follow the principles of sustainable business upon project implementations, which is in line with the approaches promoted by the involved banks.
In May 2021, Prague Airport called a public tender in which a total of ten banks qualified. During the course of the tender, questions forwarded by applicants regarding the current and planned company economic activities were transparently answered. The airport uniformly presented binding financing conditions, on the basis of which the banks were invited to submit their price offers. A group of banks set up by the Czechoslovak Commercial Bank was selected the winner of the proceedings, with the other members being Všeobecná úvěrová banka and Raiffeisenbank.
"The loan terms are above standard. Thanks to the position Prague Airport enjoys, its long-term financial stability, high rating, and great interest of potential creditors in the tender, the company has acquired highly advantageous financing conditions, which it will be able to use in future years if needed for operations and investments. Prague Airport can use the funds in the amount of seven billion Czech crowns without restrictions and draw them gradually according to its future needs until 2024," Jiří Pos, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said regarding the loan, adding that the company, unlike many airports, maintained its high rating despite the unprecedented impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, Prague Airport can build on its long-term active approach to sustainable development, issues concerning ecology and social affairs. The company representatives have agreed with the new creditors the next steps, the aim of which is to set up non-financial reporting and subsequent evaluation of the loan just concluded in accordance with the ESG principles. "We consider the principles of sustainable business to be fundamental and important to us. That is why we highly value the great interest shown by banks in co-operation with Prague Airport and their intention to provide maximum support to our company regarding the issue at hand,” Jiří Pos concluded.
"We are glad that Václav Havel Airport Prague places great emphasis on sustainability, decarbonisation and ecology in its investments, which is in line with the long-term philosophy of the CSOB Group. Companies in the Czech Republic must respond to the transformation of the economy, which is driven not only by the need for an emission-free future, but also by innovation and digitisation. Only in this way, we can remain competitive and ensure the entire Czech economy ultimately prospers as a result," Ján Lučan, Member of the CSOB Board of Directors in charge of Relationship Banking, said.
Prague Airport responded to the air traffic decline and the drop in the number of passengers handled in March last year. Current costs and projects underway were revised, savings in various areas were implemented, sub-infrastructure at terminal buildings was reduced. The airport also saved on energy, material, labour costs and in other areas. Thanks to responsible behaviour, the airport was able to finance the operation from its own resources for nine months during the traffic slowdown. The airport only resorted to external sources of financing in December last year.
The loan documentation was prepared in co-operation with the Havel & Partners law firm.