Auckland airport result solid

John Gilks
John Gilks
Auckland International Airport reported another solid result for the six months ending December, increasing its dividend 10% to 4.4c a share on the back of improved operating earnings.

The operating profit for the period was up 6.9% to $161.4 million compared with $151 million in the previous corresponding period (pcp).

The reported profit was up 5.5% to $69.1 million and earnings per share were up 4% to 5.2c.

Break-out figures for the Queenstown airport showed international passenger movements were up 30.1% in the period, domestic passenger movements were up 3.9%, revenue was up nearly 10% to $8.5 million and operating earnings were up nearly 5% to $6.15 million.

Queenstown Airport chairman John Gilks said the profit after tax of $2.8 million was lower than last year's $2.97 million.

"The higher cost of interest and depreciation reflects the cost of capital - infrastructure - works completed during the period. As Queenstown Airport continues to grow it is necessary to meet this growth with appropriate infrastructure changes."

AIA managing director Simon Moutter said there was an increase in costs at Queenstown arising from higher aeronautical costs from longer terminal opening hours, increased marketing support to airlines and snow-clearing expenses following two winter 2011 storms.

Speaking about the overall result, Mr Moutter said the Rugby World Cup was a major operational success at Auckland airport.

"Alongside all our airport partners, we delivered a successful, safe and smooth airport experience for many thousands of travellers, fans, players and officials.

"Financially, we believe the tournament delivered an additional non-seasonal peak to the business in terms of passenger volumes and retail spend, which we estimate to have delivered a modest one-off boost to the bottom-line."

Looking ahead, Mr Moutter said the second half of the financial year had started well, particularly in terms of passenger volumes. January was notable for featuring the busiest week for international arrivals and departures ever recorded at Auckland airport.

The company was on track to meet the higher end of its profit forecast for the full year, of being in the $130 millions, he said.

Forsyth Barr broker Peter Young said the profit was within his forecasts and no change was expected to the Forsyth Barr valuation of $2.63 a share.

 

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