Christchurch airport reported a net profit of New Zealand dollars (NZ$) 18.4 million ($14.6 million) for the financial year ending 30 June, a decline of 6% from the year prior.
Despite the moderate fall, chief executive Jim Boult said that the profit was "a satisfactory result" in light of the major reduction in passengers since the 2011 earthquake that severely impacted tourism in the region.
Total passenger numbers through the airport over the year were down by 0.9% over the year to 5.5 million. Total aircraft movements were down 5.6% year on year.
Boult adds that the net profit was dragged down as the full funding cost of the terminal was counted as an expense item rather than a capitalised project. Higher depreciation from the terminal also brought down the net profit.
The airport's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation came in at NZ$64.9 million, a small rise from the NZ$63.9 million recorded in FY2012.
"Recent trends are showing some recovery of passenger traffic, especially domestic, and we see that as a positive sign for the future," says Boult. "Full recovery is not expected until the city's major facilities are rebuilt, in particular the convention centre and associated hotels."
Boult says that the recent announcement by Air New Zealand that it will operate a seasonal Perth-Christchurch service over the summer period is a pleasing development. In addition, the airport is working with airlines in the hope of securing new services from the US and China.