Passenger recovery lifts Auckland Airport forecast
Passenger volume recovery lifts Auckland Airport expectations
Dec. 11 (BusinessWire) - Stronger than expected passenger numbers have buoyed Auckland International Airport Ltd's profit expectations for the year to March 2010, despite many airlines continuing to use smaller aircraft while awaiting firmer global recovery.
The company told the NZX this morning that it now expected a full year net profit "at the high end of the previously announced range of approximately $93 million to $100 million", in line with consensus forecasts by analysts following the stock.
The update "primarly reflects an improvement in recent passenger volumes", AIA said in a statement. "Total international and domestic passenger numbers for the first five months of the 2010 financial year have been ahead of Auckland Airport's previous planning assumptions, and improved passenger volumes have now occurred consistently over the last three consecutive months, providing more confident in the sustainability of the improvement."
The trans-Tasman market was particularly strong, domestic traveller numbers had remained relatively resilient, and there was some pick-up in travel to and from China, AIA spokesman Richard Llwellyn said. However, there was continued weakness in many international travel markets, including parts of Asia.
The financial impacts of stronger than anticipated passenger numbers have been "partially offset by landing charges running lower than originally assumed as airlines have reduced the average size of aircraft".
Despite these encouraging signs, AIA also announced that it was extending its landing charges freeze, instituted in July, for a further two months. New, higher 2009/10 aeronautical charges will now kick in from March 1 next year.
AIA last traded yesterday at $1.86.