Contradictory airport review
IT appears Auckland Airport wants out of its stake in North Queensland Airports which includes highly profitable Cairns.
But the New Zealand Stock Exchange listed company is not making a decision yet.
In its annual report published this week the airport made a conflicting statement.
“We believe NQA is a highly attractive asset and a great investment with a strong growth strategy and a new and highly capable management team.
“However, our review has confirmed that, while NQA is a quality asset, it is not integral to our current business strategy.”
The airport would not be drawn on the future of its 24.55 per cent share.
Auckland Airport chief financial officer Phil Neutze said the company was focussing on “growing New Zealand travel, trade and tourism” but refused to say whether it would sell its share in NQA, which also is saying nothing.
“We will not be making any further comment on our shareholding in North Queensland Airports,” Mr Neutze said.
Auckland received $11 million in net profit share from NQA plus a further $14.1 million in dividends, according to the annual report.
NQA’s total revenue for the 2017 financial year was $142.7 million (up $8.1m on 2016), earnings were $87.3m, (up $3.5m) and net profit was $46.8m (after a loss of $54.8m in 2016).
Cairns Airport is a key driver of the region’s tourism industry and any buyer of Auckland’s stake would be investing in a very bright future.