Auckland International Airport has lifted its full-year
profit forecast while delivering an improved result for the
six months ended December.
The company, which owns a share of Queenstown Airport,
reported a net profit of $85.9 million for the period, up
11.7% on the previous corresponding period. The underlying
profit, which is becoming a popular measure for listed
companies, was 86.7 million, up 14%.
The operating earnings, which is what the company earns after
expenses are deducted from revenue, was up 7% in the period
to $177.9 million. Revenue was also up 7% to $238.5 million.
Airport chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said the company
had earlier outlined its expectations the full-year profit
would be $160 million to $170 million.
Yesterday, the company lifted its guidance to $166 million to
No dividend was declared but Auckland Airport is returning
$454 million of capital to shareholders.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said the
company would cancel one in 10 shares and return $3.43 per 10
shares held. The payment, while not stated, would be in lieu
of an interim dividend.
From a tax perspective, $1.37 would be deemed a capital
return and $2.06 a fully imputed capital return. Investors
should expect only a normal second-half dividend in October.
The result was in line with Craigs' expectations, with the
slight miss being attributed to the rise in staff expenses
due to the strong growth in the company's share price and the
impact it had on the company's long-term incentive scheme.
''The retail contribution disappointed, as passenger spend
"While we had anticipated the impact from the tobacco law
changes, the mix impact from the Chinese arrivals since
October, as well as the weakness of the Australian dollar,
had not been anticipated.''
Sir Henry said the company had renewed its focus on becoming
a southern hub airport for the Pacific Rim.
''Our focus on growing travel markets has resulted in new
routes and additional seat capacity.''