Gatwick airport profit boosted by emerging market growth

City A.M. Reporter
GATWICK airport yesterday reported a strong rise in full-year profit, helped by traffic growth and the addition of new routes to emerging markets in Asia.

London’s second largest airport said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation rose 17 per cent to £221.5m in the year to the end of March on revenues up 8.6 per cent to £517.4m.

Chief executive Stewart Wingate, said its focus on improving facilities and services had helped the airport win new routes to high growth economies including South Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

Passenger numbers increased by 6.9 per cent to 33.8m in the period, although the figure was distorted by last year’s ash cloud.

“Passengers and airlines are benefiting from new facilities and we are currently investing around £20m per month,” said Wingate, who added that a further £435m would be invested over the next two years.

In the last three years Gatwick’s owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has invested £750m modernising its two terminals and revamping its security, baggage and inter-terminal shuttle services.

Rival London airport Heathrow is operating at full capacity after the coalition government blocked the development of a third runway when it came to power in 2010 as further expansion of the west London site would mean a huge increase in the number of planes flying directly over the capital.

Heathrow, operated by BAA, has seen traffic to emerging markets rise in recent years and believes it is now falling behind other airports in the battle for these lucrative routes because of constraints on growth.