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Auckland Airport sees annual profit at low end of forecasts

Thursday 30th October 2008

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Auckland International Airport, the nation's busiest gateway, said full-year profit will probably be at the low end of its forecast range as the global economic downturn crimps demand for travel.

Net income may be towards the bottom of its $100 million to $110 million estimate in the year ending June 30, down from $113 million last year, the company said in a statement.

The company "is not immune to the heightened effects of a global recession," Chairman Tony Frankham said in a statement for the airport's annual shareholders' meeting.
"The current environment could well see a reduction, in the near term, in international passenger volumes."

The airport company has been buffered from a global downturn by increased competition on key routes across the Tasman Sea from Virgin Blue's Pacific Blue unit and increased flights by Qantas's Jetstar. International volumes fell 1.8% to 1.5 million in the first quarter, while domestic passenger movements gained 8.7% to 1.4 million.

Profit in the first quarter rose 1.6% to $24.2 million as sales gained 5.5% to $87.2 million.

By Jonathan Underhill

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