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"Sydney Airport 'on track'"
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Sydney Airport 'on track'
Australia - The Age
Sydney Airport is confident of achieving its earnings targets this year,
despite being impacted by SARS and the war in Iraq.
Macquarie Airports (MAp) said Sydney Airport, which it bought for $5.6
billion last year, was facing "difficult" operating conditions in its fourth
quarter because of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the war.
Provisional international passenger numbers had dropped 14 per cent in the
first 21 days of April compared to the same period last year.
However, MAp managing director Kerri Mather was confident the airport could
still lift its full year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
"If the decrease in international passengers continues around these levels
... for the remainder of the fourth quarter, then Southern Cross Airports
Corporation Holdings (SCACH) believes that a full year EBITDA in the region
of $380 million should still be achievable," she said.
Last July, MAp forecast EBITDA for Sydney Airport to lift by more than 19
per cent to about $377 million.
MAp revealed that its SCACH consortium, which bought Sydney Airport,
increased its EBITDA by 14.7 per cent to $98.02 million in the three months
to March 31, compared to the same period last year.
For the nine months to March 31, EBITDA was 17 per cent higher at $285.5
Aiding the results was a $7 million contribution from the airport's Terminal
2, the former Ansett terminal which began housing discount carrier Virgin
Blue in December.
Revenues for the quarter were up 9.1 per cent to $127.8 million and up by
9.5 per cent for the nine-month period to $380.4 million.
Operating costs for the quarter fell 4.2 per cent to $29.3 million but were
flat for the year to date at $93.8 million.
MAp securities fell four cents or 4.21 per cent to 91 cents.
UBS Warburg analyst David Fraser said he was surprised by the fall because
it was a "pretty solid result given the conditions".
"I thought April was going to be worse than it currently is actually
tracking," he said.
"Given they had had both the war and SARS, it's pretty positive."
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