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Milan, 23 November 2012 - The Managing Director Paolo Arena and CEO Carmine Bassetti presented today the Corporate Plan of  Catullo Spa, the management company of the airports of Verona and Brescia and described the already started process of restructuring and indicated the relaunch program of the two airports for the next ten years, through a series of development plans. The business management led to a renewed reprogramming of the company, which covered all the processes, investments and activities.

The cost-reduction (€ 2.5 million) through cutting of unnecessary expenses, streamlining the group through merger or liquidation of minor companies, the absorption or liquidation of subsidiaries (€ 6 million) and the termination of "toxic" contracts (for a 7 million euro value) are all completed processes. These are the first results to reverse the negative trend in the income statement. While in a critical scenario at a European level, which shows a persistent slowdown in traffic growth in Europe, it aims to consolidate the results immediately and within two years to recover the economic balance, a prerequisite to return to grow in the interest of the territory.

The strategy goes through the repositioning in the market and a strong focus on airport management to avoid  passengers and freight traffic leaks to nearby airports or competitors and defending the interests of the territory, that is its catchment area. The development strategy started by a thorough analysis of the current situation and a check with the best market benchmark.

In terms of passenger traffic, if 57% of the traffic in Italy is now managed by three large airport systems, it clearly shows the important role of regional airports connections among places, goods and people, defined by analysts tools of economic strategy "if enhanced. Industry analyses show that regional airports, including Verona, have increased significantly from 2000 to 2011 the share of international passenger traffic, fulfilling the task of connecting also secondary regions . Verona has the role of gateway to the world  in its territory, thanks to hundreds of national and international connections (direct and in connection) offered. In addition to direct flights, Verona is the only Italian regional airport connected with all the major hubs of Lufthansa Group.

With regard to international destinations, liveliness and market appeal of Verona is evidenced by the fact that six new routes were introduced in 2012 winter season : Krakow, Poznan, Bucharest, Moscow, Zurich, Manchester, in addition to two routes substitutions operated by Ryanair, already rescheduled by other carriers, such as London and Dublin. In terms of domestic traffic, with the arrival of Ryanair (which took place on 10.31.2010) domestic routes had suffered a dramatic collapse, with a reduction of 4,189 movements (-22%) in a year. The Irish carrier pushed traditional carriers out of the market and discouraged the arrival of new ones.

After the exit of Ryanair on the 10/12/2012 (37 weekly routes cancelled), 23 weekly flights have already been recovered and are operating in the winter season, 10 more will be operational by the summer season (March 2013). With the summer season 33 of the prevoius 37 routes will be restored: the feared impact on traffic and on allied industries can be said definitely mitigated.

Other opportunities come from the goods, given that Italy has a structural shortage in this area. Of the 1.39 million tons of goods made in Italy, only 50% departs from Italian airports. Of the 1.2 million tonnes produced in Northern Italy, about 600 thousand tons reach the major northern Europe hubs by truck , from there they are then shipped anywhere in the world. The CASS statistics (Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems) confirm the ability of the Italian goods market to support further volume growth (252.1 million euro estimated revenues).

The strategy for Brescia Montichiari is firstly to use this market opportunity by maximizing the untapped growth potential of this airport, that can handle up to 150 000 tons of cargo with the existing infrastructure . Then to keep on growing gradually, taking advantage of the opportunities of the cargo sector in the medium-term. Development prerequisite is the forty-year concession, not yet granted by the Italian Government, to authorize the involvement of an industrial partner, who could entry into the social structure of Brescia Montichiari, through a European tender.

Be noted that:
a) the analysis shows an increase of 12% in 2011, exports from the catchment area and the type of goods typically transported by air (machinery, auto parts, manufactured articles, pharmaceuticals, documents, etc..) corresponds with the data of the exported goods of the area.
b) the air cargo market has moved into passenger flights for 70% . If the goods are then transported on passenger flights, passenger traffic will become functional to cargo development of Montichiari in the medium term.
"We reduced the problems and found a growth path. - Paolo Arena, Managing Director of Catullo Spa, said - Some big knots, which would have continued to paralyze us, were dissolved, freeing the income statement of consistent burdens. We are aware that we are reprogramming airports according to a new partnership approach to business management, aiming at progressive results, solid, less dramatic but not short-lived. We are asking all considerable efforts, also to accept and implement change. Recovery path, shared with shareholders is drawn, is clear and is already in the implementation phase. "

"We were an oversized company in relation to managed traffic. Corporate restructuring and resolution of toxic contracts were the only ways, however painful, to go back to being healthy and ready to grow. - Carmine Bassetti General Manager of Catullo Spa said– Repositioned our airports on the market and started the changing of direction, now we can concentrate all our energies on the development of our airports. "

For further information:

Sara Biasi
Public Relations and Press Office Manager
Garda Airports -  Verona and Brescia
ph  +39 045 8095784
fax +39 045 8095455