Queenstown Airport’s announced it’ll pay shareholders a record annual dividend of $15.54 million this year — up from a half-year payout of $6m, announced in February.
The airport corporation released its annual report for the 12 months to June 30 on Wednesday, which shows revenue of $59.6m and net profit after tax of $22.2m.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is $43.9m.
Board chair Adrienne Young-Cooper says a final dividend of $9.56m will be paid to shareholders this month.
Queenstown’s council, the majority shareholder, with 75.01% of airport shares, will receive $11.66m — almost $390 per resident.
Young-Cooper notes operating expenditure’s comparatively low during the reporting period, due to reduced budgets in place at the start of the past financial year, because of Covid — that increased to ‘‘normalised levels’’ in the second half of the year.
Scheduled aircraft movements totalled 17,714, with 2,370,488 people moving through the airport.
That number’s on par with the 2019 financial year.
CEO Glen Sowry says staffing at the airport’s increased by about a third, while there’s also been a focus on long-term planning, at the centre of which is the 10-year strategic plan, released earlier this year.
The plan proposed improvements focused on safety, resilience, efficiency and customer experience, and allocates space to enable and support the decarbonisation of aviation.
An engagement report on the plan will be released soon, Sowry says.
Other projects included installing extra self-service and automated bag-drop technology in the check-in area, four solar-powered aircraft access ramps, and a continuing terminal upgrade programme, with the departures processing and international arrivals completed during the reporting period.
Sowry says they’ve also signed up to the globally-recognised Airport Service Quality programme, which allows the airport to measure its performance and benchmark its services against international airports, and received Toitū net carbon-zero certification.
‘‘We are actively working to reduce our operational emissions and have committed to certified 100% renewable electricity supply, and to elimination of non-emergency Scope1 and 2 emissions by 2030,’’ he says.
Young local opinions on tourism sought
Queenstown tourism and hospo businesses have chipped in to the tune of $4500, to encourage locals to have their say on what’s good, and what’s not, when it comes to visitor numbers.
Community engagement organisation Shaping our Future (SoF) wants to hear from younger members of the community, so is running an online competition asking people to send an image, or video, of what they think is good and bad about tourism.
Executive officer John Glover says the topic of how much tourism’s too much is a very ‘‘emotive, subjective and a potentially confronting one to facilitate a conversation around’’.
He says SoF are ‘‘blown away’’ by the backing from local businesses benefiting, in part, from tourists for the initiative.
‘‘It’s great to see businesses with skin in the game fronting up to support this.’’
Gift vouchers have been provided by AJ Hackett Bungy NZ, Beautiful Gardens of Wānaka, Edgewater Wānaka, Fed Group Wānaka, Future Hospitality Group, iFly Queenstown, Kinloch Wilderness Retreat, Millbrook Resort, Ridgeline Adventures, Southern Discoveries and The Rees Hotel.
Glover says entries can be submitted by a DM to Shaping our Future on Facebook before the end of September.
The images will supplement the output of two workshops this week and an online survey running from next week.
Glover says the findings of the engagement will feed into, and inform, work to be done by Queenstown’s council, Destination Queenstown and Lake Wānaka Tourism later this year.