Christchurch Airport continues to see substantial growth

Over the past two years, Christchurch’s growth has not faltered and the airport has seen a 17 per cent increase of profits compared to FY18.

Christchurch Airport continues to see substantial growth

Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) has recorded another record year in FY19.

Excluding the impact of fair value gains on investment properties, underlying profit before tax for the year was $66.9 million against $57.2 million for FY18 (+17 per cent). This continues what has been a strong run, with underlying profit before tax having grown from $14.3 million five years ago in FY14 to $66.9 million in FY19.

The CIAL Board has declared a full year total dividend of $43.3 million for FY19, against $40.4 million in FY18 (+7.3 per cent) and $7.6 million in FY14. This is the fourth year in a row the airport company has produced both a record underlying profit and a record dividend for shareholders.

During FY19, the airport handled 6.93 million passengers, up 65,000 on FY18. Passengers travelled on 73,000 flights, up two per cent on FY18. Total operating revenue for the year grew to $187.4 million ($177.6 million in FY18, up 5.5 per cent), operating costs were held at the level of the previous year and this allowed EBITDAf to grow to $125.5 million ($115.7 million in FY18, up 8.5 per cent).

Net profit after tax for the year (including fair value gains on investment properties) was $57.5 million, compared to $88.7 million in FY18. This was due to the reduction in the amount of fair value gains on investment properties to $13.1 million in FY19, as compared to $53.7 million in the prior year – noting fair value property adjustments are influenced by completion of new developments and the timing of revaluation reviews.

In key international markets over the past two years, Christchurch Airport (CHC) grew faster than New Zealand has overall, with international visitor arrivals from China up 34.1 per cent (NZ grew 5.8 per cent), Hong Kong up 44.7 per cent (NZ grew 13.5 per cent) and Australia up 7.3 per cent (NZ grew 4.4 per cent).

Chief Executive, Malcolm Johns, said: “The international growth reflects the past five years of positive and committed strategy activation in key markets under ‘South’, the airport’s international marketing programme. South has focused on chasing very well defined market segments in these markets which are of higher value to the airline and to the country than pure volume based strategies.”

The company invested a further $63 million in investment property, which will increase future revenue, dividends and shareholder value. This compares to $68 million invested in FY18.

Johns said the highlight of the past financial year has been the way the whole team has worked incredibly hard to hold operating costs at last year’s levels. “That takes a constant focus on productivity and a positive working relationship with key suppliers to ensure we are optimising what we are doing together to make the airport run every day. 

“The airport campus now has around 7,000 people working on site in more than 260 companies and handles an average of around 140,000 members of the public who make a visit every week. That’s more than the population of Dunedin on our campus every week of the year.”

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