Adelaide Airport has reported an increase in earnings and revenue for 2018/19 amid strong growth in domestic and international passengers.
The company’s annual report, published on Tuesday, showed revenue rose 5.2 per cent to $225.5 million.
Meanwhile, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up 3.1 per cent at $153.2 million.
However, net profit slipped slightly to $43.7 million, compared with $44.9 million in the prior corresponding period.
Adelaide Airport Ltd chairman Rob Chapman and managing director Mark Young said the company had maintained solid growth across all areas of the business despite global economic headwinds, noting Adelaide was one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.
Further, the pair said new infrastructure at the airport such as the recently completed 165-room Atura Hotel and the current expansion of the passenger terminal provided a solid base for future growth.
“Far from hitting the auto-pilot button, we are re-doubling our efforts and setting sustainable, long-term goals to grow our business on the ground and in the air,” Chapman and Young said in the annual report.
The annual report showed Adelaide Airport handled 8.5 million passengers in the 12 months to June 30 2019, an increase of 1.3 per cent from the prior year.
It was another standout performance internationally, with overseas passenger numbers jumping 5.8 per cent to 1.06 million.
There were 7.5 million domestic passengers, an increase of 0.7 per cent. And even past laggard regional air services managed a 2.6 per cent increase in 2018/18, largely on increased mining work in the state.
Currently, Adelaide Airport has nonstop passenger flights to eight destinations – Auckland, Denpasar, Doha, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. That network provided one-stop services to more than 300 destinations.
These routes were flown by nine airlines comprising Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Emirates Airline, Jetstar, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.
In the immediate term, the airport has been keen to expand the network to include more points in Asia, as well as a longer-term ambition to secure a nonstop flight to the United States.
“We remain under-served to a number of destinations, including the United States,” Chapman and Young said in the annual report.
“We also believe there are opportunities to attract direct links with new Asian destinations such as Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and India – to name just a few – and to continue to grow our Chinese market.”
Also, Adelaide Airport said it would seek to balance the present overseas passenger movements, with 65 per cent outbound and only 35 per cent inbound with overseas visitors, and “shift the needle” to a greater inbound ratio.
Apart for the the airport’s strong financial performance, Young said the airport made an economic contribution to South Australia of $2.96 billion in the past financial year, up from $1.95 billion five years ago. This was forecast to reach $7.48 billion by 2039.
The annual report showed Adelaide Airport paid a steady dividend of $21.685 million on its preference shares but cut the ordinary dividend to its (largely superannuation fund) shareholders from $60 million to $45 million, as the company progressed its major investment in the passenger terminal expansion.