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Auckland Airport meets guidance with 11% gain in earnings

Auckland Airport meets guidance with 11% gain in underlying earnings

By Jonathan Underhill

Aug. 26 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland International Airport, the country’s main gateway, reported an 11 percent gain in full-year underlying earnings, broadly in line with guidance it gave in the first half, as aeronautical charges led a gain in revenue that outpaced growth in expenses.

Underlying profit, which strips out changes to investment and derivative valuations, was $169.9 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $153.8 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 6.1 percent to $475.8 million while expenses gained 2.6 percent to $120.6 million. Net profit jumped 21 percent to $215.9 million.

The airport company forecast underlying profit for the 2015 year of $160 million to $170 million, suggesting it expects no earnings growth on that measure in the coming year. But the company said its preferred measure was earnings per share, which would be between 2 percent and 9 percent up in the year, after the company returned $454 million of capital and cancelled 10 percent of its stock.

In the latest year, airfield income rose 7.4 percent to $87.6 million while passenger services charge revenue rose 9.4 percent to $131.6 million. The bulk of aeronautical revenue comes from passenger charges and in the latest year, international passenger numbers, rose 5.1 percent to 8.2 million while domestic passenger numbers rose 2.2 percent to 6.9 million. That saw total passengers climb 3.8 percent to 15.1 million.

Income from retailing rose 2.2 percent to $127 million and car park income gained 6.1 percent to $42.8 million. Total rental income rose 7 percent to $59.3 million.

Auckland Airport's share of profit from associates climbed 17 percent to $11.6 million, led by a 15 percent gain to $8.1 million for North Queensland Airports, a 25 percent increase to $1.7 million for Queenstown Airport and a 19 percent gain to $1.9 million for the Novotel hotel.

The company will pay a final dividend of 7 cents a share, with tax paid to the company rate of 28 percent, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

The shares fell 0.8 percent to $3.72 and have declined 4.9 percent this year.


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