You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Passengers, profits up for Sydney Airport

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Sydney Airport is upbeat about its growth prospects after posting a 19 per cent lift in half-year profits thanks to traffic described by chief executive Kerrie Mather as "some of the strongest passenger growth in over a decade".

Strong tourism growth, particularly from Asia, delivered an 18.9 per cent jump in interim net profit to $160 million for the operator of Australia's biggest airport, which now plans to spend $400 million on boosting capacity and improving services.

Sydney Airport has also flagged an expected 22 per cent increase in 2016 distributions, courtesy of a boost from proceeds of a recent price hike.

Passengers travelling through Sydney Airport's gates rose 6.7 per cent to 20.3 million in the first half to June 30, led by passengers from China, Japan, Korea and the US, Ms Mather said on Thursday.

International passenger numbers rose 9.3 per cent, thanks to "significant additional capacity" from new and existing carriers, improving load factors - a measure of how full planes are - and strong demand from several markets.

Domestic numbers grew 5.3 per cent, primarily underpinned by strong load factors across both full service and low cost carriers.

Sydney Airport has more than 200 business expansion projects underway and is on track to deliver its 2016 capital investment program on time and budget, Ms Mather said.

Some of the projects, include the redevelopment and expansion of its international terminal, are aimed at improving seating, greater retail offerings and a new dining area.

Sydney Airport is also increasing baggage capacity, expanding its airfield, ground transport and check-in counters.

"We have delivered a significant uplift in the presentation of the terminal, increased capacity and passenger experience improvements from our investment program," Ms Mather said.

Sydney Airport reported capital expenditure of $175 million for the half year, in line with its expected investment of $400 million in 2016.

The group also reaffirmed its capital expenditure guidance of $1.3 billion for the 2016-2020 period.

Sydney Airport continues to evaluate the financial and shareholder benefits of developing and operating Sydney's second airport in Badgery's Creek.

The company increased its distribution guidance to 31 cents from 30 cents for 2016, as the second half of the year will benefit from a 4.8 per cent rise in aeronautical services charges.

Interim revenue rose 11.3 per cent to $661.9 million.

The group declared an interim unfranked distribution of 13 cents per stapled security, up from 12 cents.

Sydney Airport shares were steady at $7.40 in afternoon trade after initially falling to $7.20 in morning trade.

SYDNEY AIRPORT'S 1H FIGURES

* Net profit up18.9pct to $160m

* Revenue up 11.3pct to $661.9m

* Interim distribution up 20pct to 15c a share, unfranked

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon