Christchurch Airport set an all-time record of 6.3 million
passengers for financial year 2016 (FY16) through servicing the
South Island tourism market, and in doing so pumped more than
$180 million in new GDP into the regions of the South Island and
generated a record $31 million in dividends for shareholders.
"Christchurch remains the South Island gateway for international
visitors. We've seen very pleasing progress this year, with
increasing international airline capacity and high airline load
factors", says airport company (CIAL) Chairman David Mackenzie.
Airline seat availability grew seven per cent during the year to
7.9 million, with several new services starting midway through the
year. International passengers using the trans-Tasman network grew
seven per cent and long-haul grew 18%. The airport handled 29,000
tonnes of international air freight, up four per cent on the
"We have also continued development of our bare land to lift
revenues, grow shareholder value, increase dividends, and balance
risk associated with what can be a dynamic aviation industry", says
During FY16 the airport company completed and opened Spitfire
Square, its new convenience retail complex, and opened Mustang
Park, its new tourism transport hub. It currently has $168 million
of new investment property development underway, which will begin
generating additional income in FY17 and FY18. This includes the
South Island Freight Hub, being developed with Freightways and
Courier Post; the 240 bed JUCY Snooze pod hostel, the first in New
Zealand, due to open October 2016; the 200 room Novotel
Christchurch Airport due to open December 2017.
Mr Mackenzie says "The Board is encouraged by the improving
overall financial performance of the business and on-going growth
in returns to shareholders."
- Operating Revenue grew 5.4% to $170 million, from $161 million
the year prior
- EBITDA grew 10.6% to $103 million, up from $93 million the year
- NPAT grew 9.6% to $43 million, up from $39 million the year
- Dividends grew 51.4% to $31 million, up from $21 million the
Dividends have lifted from $7.6 million in FY14 to $31 million in
FY16. The increased dividends were driven not only by growth in
profitability (NPAT was $16 million in FY14) but also the Board
increasing its dividend pay-out, from 60% of NPAT (excluding
revaluations on investment properties) to 90% from FY16.
"The business has grown, developed strategically and built greater
resilience in recent years, plus the outlook is positive - all of
which gave the Board confidence to lift on-going dividend pay-outs
to 90%", says Mr Mackenzie.
Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns expects continued growth
in passenger numbers in the next year, to be in a range of 6.6 -
6.7 million for FY17, with trans-Tasman airline
capacity forecast to increase by around 15% and international
long-haul capacity by around 20%.
"We have also seen domestic airline capacity reach record
levels, with Air New Zealand adding additional services between
Auckland and Christchurch and also to the regions.
This city has never been more connected to Auckland and
Wellington, and the regions, than it is right now. Nor has it ever
been more connected to the big airport hubs in Australia and Asia
as it is right now.
"On the Tasman, Qantas is offering new services from Brisbane,
Sydney and Melbourne, to tap into the South Island market growth
and feed visitors and residents between the South Island, Asia and
Europe through their Australian east coast air service networks.
This means Qantas's international capacity will double at
Christchurch over the coming year.
"Long-haul we have worked with China Southern Airlines to
establish direct services with Mainland China, with Air New Zealand
to introduce the 787 on Perth, and Asiana Airlines to test the
market with a new direct service to Korea this summer.
"Our focus over the past two years has been to build strategic
partnerships that increase our connectivity to the big airport hubs
- Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Singapore, Guangzhou,
Taipei, Seoul and Dubai - which collectively handle more than 200
million passengers a year.
"We intend to keep building a stronger business through
continued aeronautical growth and land development, and to keep
investing in our customer experience, safety and sustainability, to
support our city's recovery and contribute to the social and
economic outcomes of the South Island and New Zealand, with
continued focus on lifting shareholder returns", Mr Johns says.