Birmingham Airport Holdings Limited has reported a post tax profit of €6 million for the year, compared with just €675,000 for the 2009/10 financial year.
In its annual report, the airport operator said lower employee and running costs and a reduction in net interest payments had helped improve profit margins.
The lease of airport land to a hotel developer for €2 million and a drop in expenditure on capital projects, from €37.4 million in 2010 to $19.3 million in the year ending March 2011, both helped generate a net cash inflow of €12 million.
The airport’s share of income from commercial revenue continued to outpace traditional aeronautical revenue, increasing 0.8% from €59.8 million in 2010 to €60.2 million in 2011 and representing 51.2% of total income.
Aeronautical income fell by 2.3%, despite a 5.5% drop in passenger traffic, which the operator put down to increasing long-haul traffic.
Commenting on the airport’s future outlook, group chairman John Hudson, said: “Whilst the economy slowly recovers from the recession and the impact of the government spending cuts take hold, demand in UK air transport has yet to return to growth, increasing the short-term risk of competition from neighbouring airports.
“However the airport sees the 61% of unsatisfied demand, within its one hour catchment area as a significant opportunity for growth. Together with its location and facilities, and in the longer term, the runway extension and the advent of high speed rail links to London, the airport believes it is well placed to satisfy that demand.”
Across Birmingham’s route network, the airport reported a 4% increase in long-haul traffic, primarily due to growth by Emirates to its hub Dubai, Mahan and Turkmenistan Airlines.
The airport’s network of scheduled EU carriers grew 7.6%, with growth from Lufthansa, KLM and Swiss International Airlines.
Low-cost traffic contracted by 9% as the recession hit traffic on routes operated by bmibaby and Ryanair particularly affected.