Growth in passenger numbers drives Christchurch Airport result up

Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) has reported encouraging growth in its operating performance for the year ended 30 June 2014, driven by revenue growth across all aspects of the business - aeronautical, commercial and property.

Chairman David Mackenzie says Total Operating Revenuegrew in the 2014 financial year by 10.0% to $130.7m and EBITDAF (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation
and fair-value adjustments) grew by 11.7% to $72.5m.

Passenger numbers grew 3.5% across the year, including 5% growth over the second six months.  Domestic passenger numbers grew 3.4 per cent, while international numbers grew 3.6 per cent and traditional long-haul markets returned to growth.

Mr Mackenzie says FY14 was the first full year that depreciation and financing charges applied on completion of the new integrated terminal investment. The combined depreciation and interest costs in FY14 are $7.5m higher than the previous year.

He says despite this, the higher 2014 EBITDAF allowed the underlying net profit after tax of $18.0m to be slightly ahead (3.5%) of the corresponding amount for the prior year.

The statutory reported profit after tax, after accounting for a non-cash deferred tax adjustment, was $15.7m. That compares to $18.4m for the previous year.

CIAL is proposing to declare total dividends for FY14 of $7.6m. That's 3.7% ahead of the total dividend declared in 2013.

CIAL's balance sheet continued to show growth, with a further $28.8m of capital expenditure invested in property, commercial and infrastructure projects during the year. This is expected to continue into the 2015 financial year, with the Spitfire Square airport retail development beginning construction and Dakota Park and Mustang Park development
continuing.

The balance sheet remains in a solid position, with the debt/debt + equity ratio at 29.0% falling slightly when compared to the same time last year, primarily driven by some timing
changes to CapEx moving into FY15. During the year, CIAL successfully completed
a second long term bond issue and raised $50m with an eight year maturity. This has further enhanced the company's debt maturity profile and funding diversification.

This all places CIAL in a strong position to complete planned capital projects during FY15 and pursue growth opportunities.

Further detailed information in respect to FY14 will be available in CIAL's Annual Report, scheduled for release in early October,  ahead of the company's AGM on November 3, 2014.

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