22 Feb 2019

Auckland International Airport reports lower profit

10:33 am on 22 February 2019

The country's biggest airport has reported a lower profit as it moved to cut airline charges.

Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport Photo: 123RF

Auckland International Airport's net profit was down 11 percent to $147.2 million.

The company said it would cut its forecast charges on airlines using the airport by $33m over the next five years, equating to 31 cents a flight per passenger. It has been under pressure in recent years from the Commerce Commission and airlines for charging too much.

"We believe the prices we had set were fair and in line with international standards.

"We have listened to their feedback and believe this is reflected in the reduced charges to airlines," chief executive Adrian Littlewood said.

The airport's planned rate of return on its investments, which dictates airline charges, was still above the level the Commerce Commission said it should be charging.

The airport has consistently argued higher charges were needed to fund a multi-billion dollar spending programme on terminals, runways and other facilities.

Revenue rose more than 11 percent to $370m, as 10.6 million people passed through the airport, just over half being international passengers.

The underlying profit, which strips out property valuation changes, rose nearly 3 percent to $136.9m.

The company said it was seeing the benefits of its infrastructure programme with expansion of its international terminal, further space for handling aircraft, and more retail and parking space.

It forecast a full year underlying profit of between $265m and $275m, which would be up nearly 5 percent on a year ago.