Air­port show­ing a profit

Waipa Post - - News -

Things are look­ing up for Waikato Re­gional Air­port Ltd (WRAL), which has de­clared its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive div­i­dend to its five coun­cil share­hold­ers on the back of im­proved air­port prof­itabil­ity and strong in­di­ca­tions of con­tin­ued growth.

WRAL is a coun­cil­con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion owned by Waipa¯, Hamil­ton City, O¯ toro­hanga, Waikato and Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict coun­cils.

The Group in­cludes whol­ly­owned sub­sidiaries Ti­ta­nium Park Lim­ited (TPL) and Hamil­ton & Waikato Tourism Ltd (HWT).

At its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last week WRAL con­firmed a to­tal div­i­dend of $250,000 will be paid out to share­hold­ers based on earn­ings from the 2017/2018 year.

Last year was the first time since 2012 that air­port op­er­a­tions — in­de­pen­dent of the wider Group — made a profit.

Since 2016 WRAL had re­turned a profit largely based on land de­vel­op­ment.

Over­all WRAL re­ported a strong fi­nan­cial per­for­mance, re­turn­ing a group op­er­at­ing sur­plus be­fore reval­u­a­tion gains and tax of $1 mil­lion.

Op­er­at­ing rev­enue for the year was $8.6 mil­lion, up $1 mil­lion on the year prior.

This was pri­mar­ily driven by an 11 per cent growth in air­port pas­sen­ger num­bers driv­ing in­creased rev­enue from com­mer­cial land charges, carpark­ing and con­ces­sions.

WRAL’s in­vest­ment prop­erty port­fo­lio also in­creased in value by $1.6m fol­low­ing an end-of-year val­u­a­tion.

This was fol­low­ing a $3.3m gain in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

Land sales of $2.2m also con­trib­uted to the Group’s to­tal rev­enue. The Hamil­ton Air­port Ho­tel and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre was pur­chased by WRAL in Jan­uary 2018 and plan­ning is un­der­way to sig­nif­i­cantly up­grade the fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing 2019.

HWT, a wholly-owned sub­sidiary of WRAL, re­ported a six per cent growth in vis­i­tor ex­pen­di­ture and a 10 per cent growth in busi­ness tourism events over the past year.

Waikato is now the third largest con­ven­tion and busi­ness events des­ti­na­tion in the coun­try in a re­gional in­dus­try es­ti­mated to be worth $2.6 bil­lion.

Dur­ing the year the WRAL Board con­firmed a 10-year strate­gic plan aimed at grow­ing aero­nau­ti­cal rev­enue, de­vel­op­ing and op­ti­mis­ing land hold­ings, pro­tect­ing the core avi­a­tion busi­ness and con­tin­u­ing to fo­cus on re­gional tourism vol­ume and value.

Ma­jor cap­i­tal projects for the year in­cluded the com­ple­tion of six con­fer­ence and meet­ing rooms within the Hamil­ton air­port ter­mi­nal build­ing and the ini­ti­a­tion of a carpark ex­pan­sion to pro­vide 85 ad­di­tional parks to meet fore­cast pas­sen­ger growth.

There was also a $1.3m project to up­grade fire ten­ders and res­cue fire in­fra­struc­ture.

The Group’s bal­ance sheet re­mained strong with share­holder eq­uity of $84.9m, up $2.2m on the pre­vi­ous year. This was largely be­cause of the in­creased value of the Group’s in­vest­ment prop­erty.

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