Strong first-half traffic growth underlines “resilience” of Macquarie Airports’ portfolio – 18/07/08

Kerrie Mather: Strong traffic growth shows “the resilience of our business”

INTERNATIONAL. Macquarie Airports’ (MAp) core portfolio reported combined passenger traffic growth of +7.1% in H1 2008, which the company said underlined its resistance to tough trading conditions.

MAp CEO Kerrie Mather said: “The core portfolio recorded strong traffic growth of +7.1% despite rising fuel prices, indicating the resilience of our business.”

She added: “We are monitoring the impact of airline capacity reductions in response to high fuel prices. Whilst our airports will not be immune to the challenges presented by the current operating environment, we continue to proactively market the attractions of our airports to existing and potential airline partners.”

At Sydney Airport, overall growth of +5.6% was driven by a +4.4% increase in H1 international traffic to 5.19 million passengers, and a +6.3% climb in domestic traffic to 10.88 million.

In June, traffic at the airport grew by +3.0%, including a +2.2% rise in international passengers, and +3.5% in domestic.

Australian travellers increased (+6%) together with traveller growth from India (+14%), Canada (+12%), Germany (+11%) and France (+7%). The UK (-1%), US (-15%), Korea (-15%), Japan (-6%), and China (-8%) were the major markets that declined, while New Zealand was flat. Traffic in the month was impacted by the Qantas industrial dispute.

For news of Sydney Airport’s first-half results, including its retail performance, click here.

At Copenhagen Airport, year-to-date international traffic growth of +7.3% outstripped total passenger growth of +5.3%. International passenger numbers in H1 were 6.97 million (1.38 million in June, up +5%) while the total figure for January-June was 10.77 million (2.09 million in June, up +2.4%).

At Brussels Airport, extra-EU traffic continued to lead growth in the half, rising +27.7% to 3 million passengers. Intra-EU traffic posted a +3.3% gain to 5.96 million. Overall H1 traffic grew by +10.5% to 9 million.

In June, weaker performances on routes to London and Milan prompted a dip of -1.3% in intra-EU traffic. Extra-EU traffic climbed by +21.5%, driven by strong growth on routes to the US and additional capacity on routes to Africa. “In addition, there continues to be a shift away from traditional EU holiday destinations to all-inclusive packages for extra-EU destinations such as Morocco and Turkey,” said the company.

Bristol Airport reported a strong performance in the half, with +12% passenger growth (to 3 million) driven by a +25.9% surge in international traffic (to 1.86 million). In June, international traffic grew by +24.3% due to the opening of the new Ryanair base in November 2007, new easyJet routes and the introduction of Lufthansa in March 2008. Charter traffic was -13.5% lower than the previous year due to continued consolidation in the industry. Total traffic grew by +6.7% in the month.

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