Perth Airport reports profit as aviation rebound gathers pace
Passenger numbers for FY23 reached almost 14.2million, an increase of 6.8million on FY22, and 8.3million more than at the peak of the Covid-related border closures in FY21.
The increase in passenger numbers has driven a corresponding increase in aviation services revenue, which returned to profit after a significant loss in FY21 and an almost break even result in FY22. Retail and parking revenue also rebounded strongly.
The increase in aviation services revenue was not driven by higher aviation charges. Perth Airport’s aviation revenue per passenger (excluding security) for FY23 ($14.18) remained below FY19 levels ($14.73) in real terms, confirming the airport is delivering value for money for both airlines and travellers.
Perth Airport’s profit after tax for FY23 was $110.4million which included a $35.3million uplift in the fair value of its property portfolio and a mark to market adjustment of negative $51.4million (primarily due to changes in interest rates).
The comparable result for FY22 was $149.6million, although this included an $85million property valuation uplift and a mark to market (positive) adjustment of $104.2million.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Kate Holsgrove says the strong performance reflected the determination of Perth Airport to rebound quickly from the pandemic.
“We predicted last year that our financial performance would steadily improve as we moved beyond the border restrictions imposed by Covid and people became more willing to travel,” Ms Holsgrove said.
“The FIFO-based regional aviation market continues to perform remarkably strongly and we have worked hard to re-establish international connections.
“In FY23 alone we saw the return of Qatar and Emirates’ A380 aircraft, the first Philippine Airlines’ Manila flight, new services to Jakarta and Denpasar from Indonesia Air Asia and Citilink, and increased capacity on the Singapore Airlines service to Singapore.
“Even at the most difficult point of the pandemic, we always kept our focus on being ready for the recovery.
“This included continuing to invest in projects like the $36million boarding gate upgrades and the new $8million Common User Self Service check-in facilities in T1 International. These projects have delivered real value and greater efficiencies to our airline partners and an enhanced passenger experience.
“We also pushed ahead with a $70million investment in new security screening equipment to meet new Federal Government requirements, becoming the first major airport in Australia to have the new system up and running.”
Ms Holsgrove said interstate passenger numbers had almost returned to pre-Covid levels.
“Interstate travel numbers have to an extent been suppressed due to high airline prices and a lack of airline capacity but that is slowly turning around.
“With our average aviation revenue at just $14.18 per passenger, these results again confirm that the high airfares faced by Australian travellers have not been caused by airport charges.
“This relatively modest airport charge for FY23 covered a time when the ACCC reported that domestic airlines had doubled or even tripled prices on popular domestic routes.”
Ms Holsgrove said it was a credit to the Perth Airport team that the rapid increase in traveller and flight numbers following the opening of borders had been managed safely and securely.
Retail operations have also benefited from a full year of open borders with 95 per cent of outlets currently open, compared to a low of just 27 per cent during the pandemic.
The results also confirm a new post-Covid dynamic in the way people travel to the airport with extraordinary growth in the number of passengers choosing a long-term parking option.
Drive-up transactions for the airport’s T1/2 short term car parks remain 15 per cent below FY19 pre-Covid levels.
In stark contrast, on-line transactions for T1/2 long term car parks for the most popular 7-8 day stay are up more than 430 per cent on pre-Covid levels.
This growth has been underpinned by lower prices for this long-term parking product which remain 15 per cent below pre-Covid prices in real terms.
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