Projects blamed for fall in profit

Queenstown Airport has announced a fall in its half-year profit. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY 
Queenstown Airport has announced a fall in its half-year profit. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Rising expenses from infrastructure projects are to blame for a fall in Queenstown Airport's half-year profit result, the company says.

The company yesterday reported unaudited net profit after tax for the six months ended December 31 was $8.3million, down 6.3% compared to the same period a year earlier.

In a statement, Queenstown Airport Corporation chairwoman Prue Flacks put the result down to a 14.8% increase in interest and depreciation expenses arising from large infrastructure projects.

Those projects were a $7million resurfacing of the aircraft parking area, and the beginning of a $20million-plus programme to increase the terminal's capacity to accommodate a "modest level of future growth''.

Operating profit, or operating earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation, was $17.4million, up 2.4%.

Ms Flacks said the result was driven by "strong performance across the business and underpinned by the continued appeal of the Southern Lakes region as an attractive place to live, work and visit''.

It had paid an interim dividend of $1million to 75.01% shareholder Queenstown Lakes District Council and 24.99% shareholder Auckland International Airport.

It was on target to deliver a full-year dividend of between $7.1million and $7.5million.

Between July 1 and December 31, total passenger numbers were 1,185,746, up 9% on the same period in 2017.

Of that number, international passengers were 355,789, up 7%, and domestic passengers were 829,957, up 11%.

Commercial general aviation movements at Queenstown Airport decreased compared to the same period a year earlier, with fixed wing and helicopter landings down 4% because of unsuitable weather and operators changing their fleets to larger aircraft.

Private jet landings were up 7.3%.

Ms Flacks said the company was "committed to working with all our key stakeholders'' as it carried out long-term planning for Queenstown and Wanaka airports.

Those stakeholders included the council, local communities, businesses and airlines.

  • Queenstown Airport had a 10% increase in passenger numbers for the first month of this year to 225,877, compared with January last year.

International numbers increased 19% to 67,236 compared with the same month last year and domestic traffic was up 7% to 158,641.


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