Airports of Thailand (AoT) posted a 3.2% rise in pre-tax profit to Bt8 billion for the quarter ended 31 December.
Net profit rose 2.4% to Bt6.4 billion, and revenues grew 5.3% to Bt15.8 billion. Expenses, however, rose 7.5% to Bt7.8 billion.
Cash and cash equivalents were Bt7.5billion at 31 December, a decline of Bt1 billion from a year earlier. AoT partially attributed the decline to cash used in investing activities, the majority of which was ploughed into Suvarnabhumi International airport.
The operator said that conditions improved during the last three months of 2018 as compared with a year earlier, with tourists from Europe and India offsetting a “short-term decline” in Chinese visitors.
Still, Chinese tourists still make up most visitors, and a new visa-on-arrival fee waiver is expected to boost arrivals.
AoT adds that the continued growth of low-cost carriers is still contributing to price competition, benefitting passengers with cheaper tickets and more route diversity.
During the first quarter air traffic volume at the AoT’s six airports grew 5.9% to 226,901 flights, and passenger movements grew 2.8% to 35.6 million. That was comprised of 20.4 million international passengers and 15.2 million domestic.
AoT operates Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. In addition, it operates the airports at Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Hat Yai.
On 12 March, an AoT executive told FlightGlobal that the company was preparing to take control of four additional airports: Chumphon, Sakhon Nakhon, Tak, and Udon Thani.