Heathrow cuts pre-tax losses sharply for 2012

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UK airport operator Heathrow posted improved financial results for 2012, lifting revenues 8% and cutting its pre-tax losses to £32.8 million ($50.9 million).

The 2012 pre-tax for Heathrow, formerly BAA, compares with a pre-tax loss of £256 million in 2011.

Revenue for the year to December 2012 increased 8.1% to £2.46 billion. This reflects growth of 10.7%, 4.5% and 5% in aeronautical, retail and other income respectively.

Heathrow's adjusted EBITDA for the full-year grew 11.6% to £1.26 billion, while after depreciation the group's operating profit was roughly unchanged for the year at £571 million.

The group narrowed its net loss to £40.9 million from a loss of £192 million in 2011, while passenger traffic remained flat at 87.4 million.

Overall passenger numbers for the group, which also operated Stansted airport but agreed its sale earlier this year, were unchanged at 87.4 million. This reflected a near 1% increase in passenger numbers at Heathrow to 70 million, but a 3% fall at Stansted to 17.5 million.

London Heathrow saw its operating profit improve to £543 million from £527 million in 2011. Revenue at the London hub grew to £2.22 billion from £2.05 billion,

London Stansted fared less well, seeing its operating profit fall to £23 million from £39.4 million the previous year. Revenue at the north London airport improved slightly to £242 million.

The results were released shortly after Heathrow submitted its proposal for increased maximum charges for the next UK price controls period running from 2014-19 in support of its £3 billion investment plans.