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Sydney Airport sees $267m loss ahead of final sale to consortium

written by Hannah Dowling | February 23, 2022

Sydney Airport has reported a $267 million loss for the full year to December 2021, drastically topping its 2020 full-year loss of $145 million.

It follows the airport’s $97 million half-year loss, reported in August.

The airport reported a 31.5 per cent drop in revenue from 2020 to 2021 to $630 million, down from the $919 million seen throughout 2020.

Sydney Airport said the result was driven by ongoing disruption to the air travel market throughout the year, due to travel restrictions and extended lockdowns in NSW and Victoria.

The airport saw international traffic down 95.5 per cent for the year compared to pre-pandemic levels, while domestic numbers hit 74 per cent of 2019 levels.

The dramatic loss comes despite Sydney Airport welcoming $2.6 million in JobKeeper payments before the program expired on 28 March 2021, and a further $27 million in cash through to 31 December, under various other government aid programs.

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The announcement is to be the airport’s final one posted to the ASX, following the sale of Sydney Airport to a consortium of super funds and global investment partners for $23.6 billion.

The sale is expected to be completely finalised by 9 March, with Sydney Airport to be removed from the ASX the following business day.

Securities were halted on 3 February when Sydney Airport shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept the $23.6 billion takeover bid.

The results showed 96 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the deal, which will see them walk away with $8.75 per share, far over the 75 per cent required for the resolution to pass.

It represents the largest corporate takeover in Australian history.

Sydney Airport chairman David Gonski said the offer amounted to a significant premium and investors could avoid the dangers of competition from the new Western Sydney airport as well as future COVID waves.

“It is definitely not, in our view, a situation where an opportunity is being taken,” Gonski said. “One thinks just before the summer break in 2021 that things were coming good and look what happened.”

IFM chief executive David Neal said, “Upon completion of the transaction, Sydney Airport will continue to be majority Australian owned, with millions of working Australians to be invested in Sydney Airport through their superannuation.”

The final step in the transaction will see a scheme of arrangement submitted to the NSW Supreme Court for approval on Wednesday, 9 February.

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