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FIRST CUT: Auckland Airport earnings at top end of guidance

By Rebecca Howard

The country’s largest airport reported an underlying profit after tax of $274.7 million for the year to June 30 versus $263.1 million a year earlier. The result was at the top end of its guidance of between $265 million and $275 million. Forsyth Barr had forecast $273.6 million.

Revenue lifted 8.7 percent to $743.4 million while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, fair value adjustments and investments in associates, or ebitdafi, was $554.8 million, up 9.6 percent.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects underlying profit after tax - excluding any fair value changes and other one-off items - to again be between $265 million and $275 million.

"This guidance is in line with the guidance for the previous year, reflecting several factors, including moderating passenger growth, the impact of the discounts announced in February this year to our previously published aeronautical prices, modest operating expense growth, along with an increased depreciation expense associated with the step-up in our infrastructure build," chair Patrick Strange said.

Reported net profit was down 19.5 percent at $523.5 million. Prior year earnings included a $297.4 million gain on the sale of the company's 24.6 percent stake in North Queensland Airports.

Total passenger numbers increased to 21.1 million and there were 178,771 flights in the year through June. The number of passengers was up 2.8 percent on the year before, while the number of flights was up 2.6 percent.

The company will pay a final dividend of 11.25 cents per share, up 2.3 percent from a year ago. It will be paid Oct. 18 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on Oct. 4.

The shares last traded at $9.80 and are up 36.5 percent so far this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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