Friday 22 July 2016 7:36 am

Heathrow boss says Brexit means airport expansion plans need to move forward as company reports revenue grew to £1.3bn in first half of 2016

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye today said expanding the west London airport will give Britain the post-Brexit boost it needs, as the company reported revenue and profit grew in the six months to 30 June.

Revenue was up one per cent to £1.32bn, from £1.31bn in the same period of 2015, while pre-tax profit jumped 8.7 per cent to £75m from £69m.

The number of passengers travelling through the airport inched up by 0.6 per cent to 35.7m, from 35.5m, but the retail revenue per passenger increased by seven per cent to hit £7.84, up from £7.32.

“As the UK’s biggest port, we are supporting businesses from every corner of Britain to get their products to global markets, with cargo volumes up by almost two per cent," said Holland-Kaye.

“Now Britain needs a positive post-Brexit plan and only Heathrow expansion will help Britain to be one of the world’s leading trading nations – connecting all of Britain to global growth. Heathrow has a new plan for expansion, allowing the Prime Minister to make the right choice in the national interest.”

The Davies Commission recommended that Heathrow be expanded in a report last year, but the government has yet to make a decision – and last month said it would not be making any announcement on airport expansion until "at least October".

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan nailed his colours to the mast last week when he came out in favour of expanding Gatwick instead of Heathrow. Khan urged new Prime Minister Theresa May to "rule as swiftly as possible in favour of a second runway at Gatwick, which would bring substantial economic benefits".