Gatwick profit edges up on new routes to China, Russia

LONDON Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:28am BST

A man waits for arriving passengers in the international arrivals hall at Gatwick airport's north terminal, south of London November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A man waits for arriving passengers in the international arrivals hall at Gatwick airport's north terminal, south of London November 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - London's Gatwick Airport posted a 2.5 percent rise in full year profit on Tuesday, helped by the addition of new routes to countries such as China and Russia and moderate traffic growth.

The British capital's second largest airport said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 2.5 percent to 227.1 million pounds for the year to the end of March. Revenues increased by 4.2 percent to 538.9 million pounds.

Gatwick, owned by Global Infrastructure Partners - an investment fund founded by Credit Suisse and General Electric - said overall it made a loss of 29.1 million pounds, due to the asset-intensive nature of its business and continued investment made across the airport.

The company invested 226.7 million pounds as part of plans to invest 1 billion pounds over the next five years in a bid to grow to 37 million passengers by 2020. Passenger traffic rose modestly by 1.2 percent to 34.2 million.

"Although economic headwinds have remained strong, Gatwick has delivered stable financial results in line with expectations," said Chief Executive Stewart Wingate.

"It has also been a positive year for welcoming new airlines to Gatwick and attracting new links to key growth markets including China, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey, adding to existing routes which have been expanded such as our services to Vietnam," he said.

Gatwick, which mainly operates as a point-to-point airport unlike rival Heathrow airport that tends to function as a hub for transfer passengers, has begun detailed work on the options for a new runway although a long-standing local agreement that runs to 2019 disallows it from doing so.

The company also said it had submitted a revised offer of its business plan for the next 10 years to aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Kate Holton)

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