Auckland International Airport's financial result
highlighted Queenstown Airport (pictured) had delivered
another 'notable' increase in passenger numbers. Photo by
Auckland International Airport (AIA) upgraded its
full-year profit guidance yesterday, following an 11% boost to
its half-year to December after-tax profits to $76.9 million.
Total revenue for the six months was up 3.6% to $223.5
million, while expenses, excluding interest costs and
depreciation, were up 4.9% to $57.1 million.
International passenger movements at Auckland, excluding
transits, were down 0.2% to 3.65 million but this was offset
by a 7.2% rise in domestic passenger volumes to 3.35 million.
''This included over 600,000 passenger movements in the month
of December, the busiest month ever,'' chief executive Adrian
Domestic travel was reflecting the significant positive
impact of additional capacity in both Jetstar and Air New
Zealand, and robust competition.
Queenstown Airport, in which AIA holds a 25% stake, also
reflected strength in the domestic market.
Queenstown delivered another ''notable'' international
passenger increase, excluding transits, gaining 16.8% to
139,000, and domestic volumes reflected ''healthy increases
in air services'', growing 22.3% to 488,000, Mr Littlewood
Queenstown Airport's after-tax profit was up 11.7% to $3.1
million for the period.
AIA's interim dividend was up 30% to 5.75c. After yesterday's
announcement, its shares rose 2c to $2.72Craigs Investment
partners broker Peter McIntyre said the result was above
expectations, with a ''key'' element for investors being
AIA's decision to put 100% of after-tax profits towards
dividends, up from 90%.
''AIA have completed a long capital expenditure programme and
have signalled they are going to reward shareholders for
their patience,'' Mr McIntyre said.
AIA's revenue was about $2 million ahead of Craigs' estimate.
''At the revenue level, retail operations were in line, car
parking was slightly up, as was the passenger services, while
property income was modestly behind our expectation,'' he
Forsyth Barr broker Peter Young said the result was above
expectations but was mainly attributable to
lower-than-expected funding costs.
AIA had increased its full-year 2013 after-tax profit
guidance from a range of $143 million-$150 million to $145
''While challenges to aviation demand remain, we now have a
modestly higher expectation for the full year 2013 period,''
Mr Littlewood said.
Mr Young said it was unclear whether the new guidance
reflected net profit after tax or underlying profit, which
excludes one-off costs.
AIA's shareholding in Cairns amd Mackay airports in
Queensland saw after-tax profits increase by 61% to $A9.4
million ($NZ11.5 million), helping to lift AIA associate
income to $4.4 million from $3 million.
Mr Young cautioned that aeronautical income was ''marginally
lighter'' than expectations, notwithstanding the strong
increase in domestic passengers and decline in international
passengers. Mr Littlewood said, ''The global restructuring of
recent years has continued, and in some cases, accelerated.
These shifts in tourism and trade markets show no sign of
The changes were ''significant'' during the six months, with
the China inbound market growing 26.8%, overtaking the United
States as our third-largest market, and then the United
Kingdom to become our second-largest inbound market.
''Other important markets such as Japan, India and Indonesia
showed encouraging signs of growth,'' Mr Littlewood said.