$1.5m-plus Queenstown Airport pay-out due 2012

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The Wakatipu community is set to receive a pay-out of $1.5 million-plus next year from Queenstown Airport Corporation.

Queenstown Lakes District Council has today (Friday) released details of its annual dividend policy for airport shareholders – QLDC and Auckland International Airport Ltd.

Under the policy, QLDC – as 75.1 per cent shareholder – stands to receive $1.5m each year as a fixed amount, plus 75.1 per cent of a variable component according to the level of QAC’s profitability. Auckland Airport, as a 24.99 per cent shareholder, gets $500,000, plus 24.99 per cent of the variable amount.

The variable dividend will be 50 per cent of any net profit after tax above $2m, QLDC regulatory and corporate services manager Roger Taylor explains.

“So if the profit after tax in any given year was $6m, then there would be a $2m base dividend,” he says.

“The variable component would be half of the amount between the actual profit of $6m and the base of $2m – that’s $4m – so half of that is $2m.”

For the year ended June 2012, the forecast net profit after tax is just over $5m, climbing to just over $6m in June 2012, and in June 2014 up to $7.5m.

QAC’s total debt forecast at June 2012 is $29m, peaking at $37m in 2014 and then reduces, while assets increase to $195m.

The dividend arrangement – sparked after Auckland Airport bought its shareholding in secret for $27.7m in June last year – is the first time the community will receive a pay-out.

“Previously the profits from QAC were retained in the company to fund the ongoing development,” Taylor says.

Further development is able to be paid for thanks to Auckland Airport’s buy-in.

It’s unclear what the money will be spent on for the community – there’ll be public workshops to discuss options in the near future.