NZ's Infratil eyes European airports

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New Zealand-based infrastructure and utilities investment group Infratil is eyeing more airport buy-ins in Europe after continuing to report profit growth on the back of its two existing airport holdings.

The company, which has a 66% stake in Wellington International Airport in New Zealand’s capital city and a 67% stake in Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Scotland, has been seeking additional airport investments for some time.

It provides no specific details of which countries it is focusing on as part of its plan to expand with additional airport investments but says management is continuing to “work on a number of emerging airport opportunities in Europe”.

The company says in releasing its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2003 that Wellington International Airport’s earnings before interest, tax and depreciation increased to NZ$33.79 million ($20 million) from NZ$24.62 million the previous year. Passenger numbers increased 5.3% to 3.9 million during the financial year.

Infratil says the airport benefited during the year from an increase in aeronautical revenues following a controversial move to substantially boost user charges from 1 July 2002.

Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, meanwhile, reported earnings before interest, tax and depreciation of £5.04 million ($8 million) during the 12-month period, up from £3.55 million, says Infratil. Net profit after tax stood at £1.19 million, up from £0.63 million. Total passenger traffic grew 14% to 1.48 million.