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Auckland Airport underlying half-year profit up 14%

Thursday 24th February 2011

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Auckland Airport lifted half year underlying profit after tax 14% to $61.5 million, with passenger movements rising as the rapidly developing economies of Asia drove much of the growth in global travel demand.

Revenue for the six months to December was 8.7% higher than a year earlier at $198.3 million, with airfield income up 11.7% to $36.7 million, mainly due to a return to scheduled pricing on top of volume growth, the airport said today.

Retail revenue was up 12.9% to $54.8 million, largely because of investment in the airport's international departures area and a rise in marketing activity and customer choice.

International passenger movements at Auckland, including transits, were up 5%, after continuing improvement in global conditions, and strong Asian visitor arrivals, the airport said.

Domestic passenger movements at Auckland were up 2.6%, with a noticeable impact from October 2010 on growth as a result of the withdrawal of Pacific Blue.

Queenstown Airport had growth of 36.9% in international passengers and 12.1% in domestic passengers. Cairns Airport had passenger growth of 29.4% in international passengers, including transits, and 7.1% in domestic passengers in the same period, while at Mackay Airport domestic passengers were up 13.7%.

Auckland Airport has a 24.55% stake in North Queensland Airports which owns the Cairns and Mackay airports, and a 24.99% stake in Queenstown airport.

An interim dividend of 4c per share is to be paid, with reported net profit up 21.4% to $65.5 million.

"Operationally we have kept a firm grip on our capital expenditure, and we have focused on achieving greater efficiencies and improvements to the traveller experience, particularly in terms of passenger processing in collaboration with government border agencies," Auckland Airport said.

It is forecasting full year net profit, excluding fair value changes and other one-off items, to be at the top end, or a little above, previously stated guidance of $112 million to $118 million.

"We note with some caution any potential impacts from rising fuel prices or impacts on travel demand as a result of the Christchurch earthquake disaster."



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