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Queenstown Airport posted a $4.7 million profit for the second half of last year, despite expenses increasing by 13% to $3.8 million, the council was told on ThursdayThe half-year report to shareholders showed net profit was up 23% on the six months ending December 31, 2013.
However, increased expenses were driven primarily by ''unplanned runway repairs'' and the provision of a baggage reclaim ''pop-up'' over winter to deal with what the report said was a record level of international passenger arrivals and flights landed.
The temporary structure was removed in September and construction began on a $12 million expansion of the international terminal, to be completed by June.
''The changes will allow the airport to process up to 1000 passengers per hour, compared to the current 480,'' the report said.
Other key features for the airport company were increases in aeronautical and commercial revenue - up 14% to $13 million; and non-aeronautical revenue up 24% on the first half of last year, primarily due to increased food and beverage offerings and retail tenancies.
In its draft statement of intent the corporation says it has plans to continue growing passenger volumes and, in turn, revenue - targeting $29,596,000 by June 2018 - but says infrastructure investment is required.
The company also plans to increase passenger volume growth by expanding capacity on existing routes across a wider time window, helped by proposed evening flights.
The airport is consented to operate to 10pm. If evening flights are introduced as planned next year, flights could land during a daily 18-hour window.
Queenstown Airport half-year report:
• $4.7 million profit in second half of 2014 (up 23%)
• Expenses up 13% to $3.8 million
• Record levels of international passenger arrivals and flights last winter
• Increases in all areas of revenue
• $12 million international terminal expansion to be completed by June
• Targeting $29,596,000 revenue by June 2018