The strong recovery in 2017 continues into 2018 as well. In the first quarter of this year, we had a 23% increase in TAV total passengers. All airports in our portfolio had a very strong quarter of passenger growth in 2018.
In the first quarter, 20% of our combined revenue, which amounted EUR 80 million, came from our foreign operations. Our consolidated revenue increased 10% and EBITDA increased 25%, as a result of the strong performance and our keen emphasis on cost control. Passenger growth could not be reflected fully into the growth of our consolidated revenue mainly because of the depreciation of Turkish Lira and strong Euro versus US Dollar. The strong operating performance at the EBITDA level, nevertheless, was not reflected in the bottom line, due to FX losses.
Although we only operate five airports in Turkey, with our service companies we have operations in a total of 77 airports including those at 18 other countries.
All of our service companies had a very strong performance this quarter with TAV Operation Services emerging as a global lounge operator. This is a niche business area where we are truly adding value and defining best practices. We opened lounges in Frankfurt, Zurich, Copenhagen and Muscat in the first quarter and BTA took over the food and beverage operations in Muscat Airport.
During the quarter we signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 50% of Antalya Airport from IC-Ictas for EUR 360 million. Upon the closing of the transaction, we will have already replaced around 25% of Istanbul’s EBITDA.
We distributed TRY 406 million in cash dividends in the first quarter, as per our smart growth policy, where we distribute 50% of our earnings and reinvest the remaining 50% in our business. In addition, in 2017, we paid approximately TRY 2 billion to the Turkish State in the form of tax, social security and rent.
I would like to thank our shareholders, business partners and employees for their invaluble contributions to Turkey’s global brand in airport operations.
Dr. M. Sani Şener
Member of Board of Directors and
President & CEO