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Heathrow offers reassurance on airport charges after profits rise

Heathrow has disclosed that its adjusted EBITDA climbed 6.9% in the first half to reach £835 million ($1.1 billion), as revenue increased at the operator of London's biggest hub by 4.1% to £1.37 billion.

Passenger charges meanwhile fell 2.3%, notes the airport operator. It adds that it is "making good progress towards meeting the [UK] government's challenge to deliver expansion with airport charges close to current levels".

There was a 3.9% rise in passenger numbers, to 37.1 million, in the six months ended 30 June, while cargo volumes were 9.1% higher at 820,000t. The airport operator's pre-tax profit was up 36% at £102 million.

It says the launch of London Heathrow services by UK regional operator Flybe and the addition of new long-haul destinations Portland and New Orleans to the hub's network have served to "enhance domestic connectivity and open new trading routes to British exporters".

A £1 billion debt refinancing has been completed. This will have the effect of "enhancing resilience and simplifying Heathrow's debt financing arrangements", the operator asserts.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye describes Heathrow's "strong start" to the year as a "boon for Britain".

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