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Chch Airport pays record $31m dividend

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/09/2016 Sophie Boot

Christchurch International Airport, which is 75 per cent owned by the city council, lifted annual profit 10 per cent and increased its dividend payout to a record $31 million.

Net profit rose to $43m in the 12 months ended June 30, from $39m a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Operating revenue rose 5.4 per cent to $161m, as earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation gained 11 per cent to $103m.

The airport will pay dividends of $31m, or 90 per cent of net profit, for 2016, up from $20.6 million, or 60 per cent of net profit, in the previous year.

Chief executive Malcolm Johns said he expects continued growth in passenger numbers in the next year, from 6.3 million in 2016 to between 6.6 and 6.7 million in 2017, with trans-Tasman airline capacity forecast to increase by around 15 per cent and international long-haul capacity by around 20 per cent.

Passenger movements rose 6.2 per cent to 6.3 million in the latest year, as domestic traffic climbed 18 per cent and international passenger numbers advanced 7 per cent while airline seat availability increased 7 per cent to 7.9 million due to new services starting throughout the year.

The airport handled 29,000 tonnes of international air freight in 2016, up 4 per cent on a year earlier.

"We have seen domestic airline capacity reach record levels, with Air New Zealand adding additional services between Auckland and Christchurch and also to the regions," Johns said.

"This city has never been more connected to Auckland and Wellington, and the regions, than it is right now. Nor has it ever been more connected to the big airport hubs in Australia and Asia as it is right now."

Qantas's new services from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne will double its capacity at Christchurch over the next year, and the airport has worked with China Southern Airlines to establish a direct service to China and Asiana Airlines which will launch a direct service to Korea this summer, Johns said.

BusinessDesk

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