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Christchurch airport profit lifts 13pc

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/02/2017 Sophie Boot

Christchurch International Airport has posted a 13 per cent lift in profit after a record number of passengers in the first half of the financial year.

Net profit rose to $18.3 million in the six months ended December 31, from $16.2m a year earlier, the company said on Wednesday.

Operating revenue rose 6.5 per cent to $86.4m, with aeronautical revenue up 6.4 per cent to $42.5 million and non-aeronautical revenue rising 6.6 per cent to $43.9 million.

The airport, which is 75 per cent owned by the Christchurch City Council, will pay an interim dividend of $16.4m, up 13 per cent on the year earlier. Total passenger movements rose 4.4 per cent to 3.24 million, a first-half record.

Chief executive Malcolm Johns says the first six months have shown strong growth, with domestic passenger numbers up 3.2 per cent but international passenger numbers rising about 8 per cent.

"New or increased services from China Southern Airlines, Emirates A380, Qantas and Fiji Airways have increased our connections to key regional airport hubs and driven strong international visitor growth into the South Island and New Zealand," he said.

The airport is also seeing more Chinese visitors within the "free independent traveller" category, who Mr Johns said were "younger, spending more and exploring more on our China services".

The company expects to see 6.7 million passengers in its full financial year, up from 6.3 million in 2016 and 5.9 million in 2015.

The ministers of finance and state-owned enterprises each hold one-eighth shares in the airport, meaning the Crown will receive about $4.1m in dividends.

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