A surge in retail and parking revenues helped Auckland International Airport post underlying profits of NZ$120.87 million – a rise of 15.1% – over the last financial year.
Joan Withers, chair of Auckland International Airport Limited, said: “Despite the destructive natural events and the challenges that have buffeted travel and tourism this year, it has been an excellent twelve months for Auckland Airport.
“We have broken out of a period of relatively flat profitability, delivering for the 2011 financial year a 15.1% increase in underlying profit to $120.87 million.”
The company said that the rise in profits was predominantly down to an increase in total income to $397.72 million – up 9.5% on last year.
In particular retail revenue at the airport – which includes duty free and specialty stores, foreign exchange and food and beverage outlets – hit $111.150 million, an increase of $15.333 million or 16% on 2010.
Likewise, despite no change in the number of spaces available for parking at the airport, car park income increased 7.7% to $33.437 million.
Simon Moutter, CEO of Auckland Airport, said: “Much of the strength of the announced underlying profit has resulted from an increase in total income to $397.72 million, up 9.5% on last year.
“Two of the key drivers of this revenue growth have been better than expected retail results in the new departures area and a stronger yield in car parking, particularly through the new online booking channel.”
The strong results meant that net profit at the company grew to 100.7m from 29.7m a year earlier – an increase of 239.3%.
Elsewhere, operating costs at the gateway increased by 14.6% to $99.49 million, largely owing to higher promotional costs related to the launch of several new services including China Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Jetstar to Singapore.
Additionally, earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, fair value adjustments and investments in associates (ebitdafi) was up 7.9% at $298.2 million.
Despite notable disruptions over the year including the Christchurch earthquake, the Chilean ash cloud and the Japanese tsunami – all of which had a significant impact on travel and tourism to the country – the results also highlighted a strong increase in passenger numbers over the year, not only at Auckland Airport but also at the four other Australian airports in which the company has a stake.
At Auckland, international passenger numbers grew 4.9% to 7.78 million and domestic passenger volumes stayed at 6.04 million – a total increase of 2.8% to 13.82mppa.
In North Queensland, growth targets were surpassed with international passengers through Cairns rising 20.7% to 0.75 million and domestic passengers growing 6.1% to 3.18 million.
Domestic traffic at Mackay increased over 14.3% to 1.04 million. At Queenstown, international passenger growth was an exceptional 49.7% to 0.16 million and domestic numbers grew 8.4% to 0.76 million.
The annual report added that it hoped to “achieve a successful 2012 financial year”.
Withers said: “We expect net profit after tax (excluding any fair value changes and other one-off items) to be in the $130 million’s.
“We note with particular caution, any potential long-term implications from the existing volatility in global financial markets.”