BAA lowers earnings forecast by £10m

AIRPORT operator BAA has lowered its 2010 earnings forecast by £10m reflecting the impact of the volcanic ash cloud, strikes by British Airways cabin crew and bad weather.

BAA, which is owned by Spain's Ferrovial, forecast that its 2010 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be £946M based on its expectation of 85.2m passengers passing through its airports.

BAA, which owns London's Heathrow and Stansted airports but sold Gatwick for £1.5bn in December, said the combined impact from the ash cloud, strike action, and winter snow is forecast to be £40.

However, that had been offset by higher than anticipated passenger numbers at times when disruption wasn't taking place, passengers spending more at retail outlets and lower operating costs.

In a separate statement, BAA said its investment plan for Heathrow airport is expected to be within its original 5.1 billion pounds target.