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WRAL ends year in strong position

NEWS RELEASE

October 5, 2017
WRAL ends year in strong position

Waikato Regional Airport Ltd Group (WRAL) has ended its financial year with all key indicators tracking positively.

Group operating revenue, earnings before tax and operating profit are all up on the previous year. The value of the Group's land holdings and investment property has risen significantly and passenger numbers and aircraft movements at Hamilton airport have increased.

WRAL chair John Spencer said the annual report released today illustrates a solid financial performance from the Group which includes wholly-owned subsidiaries Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Ltd (HWT) and Titanium Park Limited (TPL).

Excluding investment property land valuation increases, earnings before tax and depreciation are $3.4m, up $200,000. Operating profit before tax is $0.8m, up $300,000 from last year. This performance has enabled WRAL to declare a dividend to shareholders of $200,000.

There has been a significant value increase in WRAL's investment property portfolio. A comprehensive revaluation of the Group's landholdings saw the portfolio increase to $57.6m, resulting in a $19m uplift. This, combined with land sales pushed the Group's operating surplus before tax to $4.1m.

During the year, WRAL purchased an adjoining 98-hectare farm to the north west of the airport. As part of the transaction TPL sold 6.7 hectares of land on the western side, discharging future commitments to western precinct infrastructure costs enabling substantial development of that precinct. A 10-year property development strategy was enacted by the TPL Board during the year, aiming to generate $1m in annual earnings before tax.

"The significant increase in property value across the Group has been in part due to the strength of the regional economy combined with a strong level of land activity in the area surrounding the airport," Spencer said.

WRAL continued to focus on customer experience at Hamilton airport introducing a new café, establishing conference facilities and enhancing the terminal. Passenger numbers continue to increase and were up by 14,000 across the year. Aircraft movements increased by 8,000, up to 124,000.

WRAL is a council-controlled organisation owned by Hamilton City, Otorohanga, Waipa, Waikato and Matamata-Piako District Councils. Shareholders' equity at year end was valued at $82m, up $17.6m on the previous year largely as a result of land valuations.

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