Australian skiers and snowboarders packing trans-Tasman planes have underpinned a record $8.3m profit for Queenstown Airport.
The airport corporation’s after-tax take is up 25 per cent on last year’s $6.6m.
Passenger numbers coming across the ditch increased by 29 per cent.
Domestic numbers were up six per cent – hitting the one million mark for the first time.
The boost allowed the corporation to deliver its largest ever dividend to shareholders Queenstown Lakes District Council and Auckland Airport, a total of $5.3m.
The council owns 75.1 per cent of shares and its $3.98m dividend equates to $168 per rateable property in the district. Auckland Airport pocketed $1.3m.
The dividend increase was 19 per cent, up from $4.3m last year.
Board chairman John Gilks says: “This performance has helped propel us to a strong year-end result and we are delighted to deliver our largest ever dividend to our shareholders and the community.”
Total revenue increased 13 per cent to $24.8million, while operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by $1.4million to $16.6million.
Gilks says total passenger movements through the airport increased 12 per cent, to set a record of 1.4million passengers for the 12 months to June.
Gilks says the corporation is very grateful for the on-going support of Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, and Virgin Australia, and their global airline partners.
“The main contributors to this increase were strong trans-Tasman passenger growth, buoyed by the recommencement of Jetstar’s Gold Coast service, and domestic passenger numbers hitting the one million mark for the first time,” he says.
Gilks issued one cautionary note though, saying while he was confident about the sustainability of trans-Tasman growth, anticipating strong future passenger growth, it might not reach the record levels struck in 2014-15.
The overall revenue increase was driven by strong passenger volumes, greater retail spend per passenger, more car parking and improved commercial leasing revenues, Gilks says.
To manage growth demands the corporation had completed several key infrastructure projects during the year..
Those included a public car park expansion and a new international terminal for winter 2015 which has doubled the size of the airport’s international operations.
New commercial space being taken up during the past year, included Airspresso Cafe and Bar, the Manaia Passenger Lounge and TravelPharm.
Key growth opportunities for the corporation included evening flights and the possible creation of a new aviation precinct.
– Otago Daily Times