With 97.2 million passengers handled in 2016, the traffic figures for Paris are up by 1.8%, buoyed by Paris-Orly Airport’s momentum and by international traffic at the end of the year. Our business activities proved resilient thanks to the excellent performance of the bars, restaurants and other shops, offsetting the fall in turnover per passenger from the airside shops. At 1.195 billion euros, EBITDA was up slightly with the effective control of operating expenses, as favourable and unfavourable non-recurring items offset one another. We optimised our equity portfolio with the resale of our investment in Mexico and the planned disposal of TAV Construction. Lastly, the Group share of net income is slightly up at 435 million euros.
Last year, Groupe ADP took further steps to meet its passengers’ needs and expectations with the launch of its new brand universe and a loyalty programme for frequent flyers. New services were introduced, such as the instant Paris lounge, a unique 4,500 sq. m space for all passengers in the international area of terminal 2E at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Another major enhancement was related to the CDG Express direct rail link, which is confirmed for 2023 thanks to the completion of two key stages in the project.
In March 2017, the new Groupe ADP headquarters will be based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, ensuring greater proximity to our customers and operating teams, and in the process we are modernising our working methods to improve service quality, responsiveness and creativity. We are continuing with the implementation of the "Connect 2020” strategic plan to boost the competitiveness of the Paris airports through major investment projects and a savings plan. Our objective is to reduce operating costs per passenger by 8% by 2020, and we will achieve this through our procurement policy and careful management of our payroll.
Thanks to our strong points, we are starting 2017 confidently. Based on the hypothesis of a growth in traffic of between +1.7% and +2.2% compared to 2016, we can expect to see an increase in EBITDA, with extraordinary income scheduled for this period likely to make a favourable impact. We would also like to maintain our dividend distribution policy, with a minimum level in euros.
On 22 February 2017, the Board of Directors decided to ask the next General Meeting of Shareholders to vote on the distribution of a dividend of 2.64 euros per share for the 2016 financial year, reduced by the 0.70 euros per share advance payment of 2016 dividends paid on 9 December 2016, this being equivalent to 60% of net earnings. Subject to approval by a vote at the General Meeting, the payment date will be 9 June 2017, with the coupon detachment date scheduled for 7 June 2017.
This dividend represents a payout ratio of 60% of the Group share of net profit for the 2016 financial year, which has been unchanged since the 2014 financial year. As a reminder, the payout ratio was increased from 50% to 60% in 2013 for dividends from the 2012 financial year.
The General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Thursday 11 May 2017, at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. I hope many of you will be there.
Augustin de Romanet
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer