Auckland Airport says it is in a good position to take advantage of future opportunities after reporting a 3.5 per cent increase in full year net profit.
The airport group posted net profit after tax of NZ$223.5 million for the 12 months to June 30 2015, up 3.5 per cent from NZ$215.9 million in the prior corresponding period.
Revenue rose 6.9 per cent to NZ$508.5 million, Auckland Airport said on Monday.
The number of passengers at Auckland Airport rose five per cent to 15.8 million in 2014/15, with domestic travellers up 4.2 per cent to 7.2 million and international travellers growing by 5.7 per cent to 8.1 million.
International transit passengers increased by 6.7 per cent to half a million, Auckland Airport said.
“This growth reflects the very positive trends in the New Zealand tourism industry, which includes a shift towards high-value international visitors,” Auckland Airport chair Sir Henry van der Heyden said in a statement on Monday.
“In the 2015 financial year, Auckland Airport continued to implement its strategic business plan: Faster, Higher, Stronger. This has delivered immediate benefits – including in technology, retail and aeronautical infrastructure – and has positioned us to take full advantage of future opportunities.”
New flights slated to begin in the period ahead include Air New Zealand’s new nonstop Auckland-Buenos Aires and Auckland-Houston services due to commence in December, while Philippine Airlines will start flights to Auckland, via Cairns, from its Manila hub in the same month.
There are also a number of extra trans-Tasman flights scheduled for the busy summer holiday and Christmas period from the likes of Air NZ, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia.
Projects at the airport over the past year have included expanding passenger screening areas and new baggage belts, as well as two new regional aircraft stands and ongoing work to prepare for the redevelopment of the International Terminal, Auckland Airport said in a slide presentation accompanying the full year financial results.
The airport said it had earmarked NZ$190 million to NZ$205 million for capital expenditure works in the current financial year, of which about NZ$100 would be spent on aeronautical projects.
“We have continued to see new airline routes, services and capacity. We have introduced two new duty free operators and exciting fashion, food and beverage retailers in our terminals,” Sir Henry said.
“Our collaborative work with partners has improved the efficiency of airport operations and has delivered important benefits for our passengers. Also, we have started to deliver the infrastructure anticipated in our 30-year vision for the airport of the future.”
In addition to the busiest airport in New Zealand, Auckland Airport also holds stakes in Queenstown Airport, as well as Cairns and Mackay airports in North Queensland.
Auckland Airport’s share of profits from the two North Queensland gateways fell 9.8 per cent to A$26.7 million in 2014/15.
The profit fall reflected a “softening Australian economy”, Auckland Airport said.
Passenger numbers at Cairns rose 2.2 per cent to 4.66 million, while the number of travellers through Mackay Airport fell 8.1 per cent to less than one million in 2014/15.
“The difficult conditions in Australia’s mining industry continue to impact Mackay Airport passenger movements,” Auckland Airport said in its annual report.
Queenstown Airport achieved 12 per cent passenger growth to 1.4 million in 2014/15, compared with the prior year, as more international flights helped boost the number of overseas passengers to 397,927, from 308,402 in 2013/14.
“Queenstown Airport’s outstanding international passenger growth continued in the 2015 financial year, up another 29 per cent on top of last financial year’s growth of 27.6 per cent,” Auckland Airport said.
Auckland Airport said underlying net profit after tax for the current financial year was expected to come in between NZ$183 million and NZ$191 million, compared with NZ$176.4 million in 2014/15.