COVID-19: Auckland International Airport profit drops by more than $80 million

Sunset at Auckland International Airport.
Sunset at Auckland International Airport. Photo credit: Getty Images

Auckland International Airport has posted a huge fall in profit as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates the travel industry.

Underlying profit after tax for the year ended June 30 fell 31.4 percent to NZ$188.5 million from NZ$274.7 million last year, but outperformed earlier estimates of NZ$167.8 million.

The airport's chair Patrick Strange said the airport is going through its most challenging period in its history.

"The global pandemic and the extremely difficult aviation and tourism operating conditions we have seen over the past six months are far from over," he said.

"But we have worked quickly to respond with our sights set firmly on our future. The long-term fundamentals of our business remain strong and we have taken steps to ensure we remain resilient and well positioned for a recovery as demand for international travel returns."

The cost of COVID-19 in numbers:

  • Auckland Airport's total number of passengers decreased to 15.5 million, down 26.5 percent 
  • There were 8.5 million international passenger movements, while domestic passenger numbers were 7 million
  • Operating income was down by 53.1 percent to $260.4 million
  • Reported profit after tax was down 63 percent to $193.9 million
  • Underlying profit after tax was down 31.4 percent to $188.5 million
  • Revenue was down 23.7 percent to $567 million

Chief Executive Adrian Littlewood said despite the uncertainty, the airport will go ahead with its planned projects in 2021, including more runway maintenance work.

"Auckland Airport's capital investment in the 2021 financial year will be focused on advancing existing roading infrastructure projects; delivering core airfield renewals such as slab replacement and apron works; upgrades to the baggage system; and completing pre-leased property developments," he said.

Capital expenditure for the 2021 financial year is expected to be between $250 million and $300 million.

"Auckland Airport will continue to play a critical role in connecting New Zealand to the world, and this is only possible thanks to the support of our investors and the ongoing commitment of our people, who have done us and New Zealand proud throughout this crisis," Littlewood said.