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Auckland airport confirms earnings guidance for current FY

Thursday 24th October 2013

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Auckland International Airport confirmed its expectation of an underlying profit after tax for the current financial year of between $160 million and $170 million at the annual shareholders' meeting.

The meeting was the last for Joan Withers since joining the board at its NZX listing 16 years ago, three of them spent as chair, to be replaced by Sir Henry van der Heyden, subject to confirmation of the outcome of the shareholder vote.

Both Withers and chief executive Adrian Littlewood praised increased government investment in tourism marketing, particularly for growth in passenger numbers from Asia, especially China.

"By 2030, roughly 80 percent of the world's middle class, or 4 billion, will be on our back doorstep and within one flight of Auckland airport," said Littlewood. "However, it is a competitive race with high stakes, and every country has their eyes on that prize.

"New Zealand needs to recognise that competitive challenge, be more ambitious and work better together as an industry so we can capture the growth."

In time, this would require the construction of a second runway at Auckland and a new domestic terminal, but Littlewood gave no hint of timing for the initiative, while offering some detail on the company's plans for making the airport a more attractive workplace.

"We have been experts in crafting compelling proposals and convincing the chief executives and chief financial officers of our clients as to when they should base their business at the airport. However, we somewhat overlooked winning the hearts and minds of their employees."

Further investment would be needed to "build a quality work environment that other developer will find hard to match."

The shares fell 1.2 percent to $3.40 in trading today.

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