Malaysia Airports net profit down 26% in Q1

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Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) has posted a 26% fall in net profit to 71.2 million ringgit ($22 million) in its first quarter, largely due to higher operating costs.

Revenues grew 12% to 436.4 million ringgit in the quarter ending 31 March, says the operator of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and 38 other airports.

The growth in revenues was mostly contributed by airport operations, driven by a strong recovery in air travel demand, says MAHB.

Passenger movements for the first quarter was 21% higher than a year ago, it adds. International and domestic passenger traffic grew 31% and 13% respectively.

MAHB's operating profit, however, fell 23% to 72.6 million ringgit as a result of higher costs.

Looking ahead, it expects its airport operations segment to continue contributing to the group's consolidated revenues for 2010. "The aeronautical revenue stream would be highly dependent on the passenger movements at all airports operated by the group," says MAHB.

Despite the recent flight disruptions in Europe caused by the volcanic ash cloud, MAHB expects minimal impact on its airports, which have "limited exposure" to the disruptions.

"As indicated by IATA, the turnaround [in air traffic] being seen by the conventional airlines would likely prove a boost to our aeronautical revenue," says MAHB.