Newcastle International Airport is flying high after reporting a £1.7m growth in revenues as well as rising profits after seeing a rise in a passenger numbers, which they expect to increase this year after investing in improvements to services.
Turnover was up to £48.9m from £47.2m for the year ending December 31 2012, while operating profits went up to £14.8m from £13.7m for the time period, figures delivered in the light of passengers going up by 20,000 to 4.4 million, and a growth in revenues per passenger. Profit after tax also rose by 3% to £18.5m.
In a report accompanying the annual results, directors said: “The level of passenger growth is reflective of general aviation industry conditions in the UK and the wider UK economy, both of which were relatively flat in 2012.
“The company has continued to maintain its goal of being the most welcoming airport in the UK through its strong focus on customer service and the airport’s terminal developmental programme which has provided much improved facilities to its customers.
“This has been recognised for the fourth year running with the airport again securing the coveted Airport of the Year Award in the under 6m passengers category by the Airport Operators Association, an award voted for by both passenger and airline organisations.”
The report said income from retail activities – including the airport’s shops and catering facilities – showed strong performance over the year, despite tough trading conditions, resulting in a 1% increase year-on-year. Improvements were also made to the car parking facilities.
Looking forward, the airport expects to see “modest growth” in passenger numbers this year despite difficult economic conditions in the general economy.
The underlying mix of airlines operating at the airport changed over the year, with scheduled international traffic growing by 6%, driven by a number of airlines including the upgrade of Emirates' daily service to Dubai to a Boeing 777.
Charter volumes went down by 11% but low cost international volumes were 10% higher with an additional Jet2 aircraft and a larger EasyJet plane providing additional capacity.
The report concluded: “We are working closely with our airline partners in order to stimulate growth in services and consequently passengers in both 2013 and future years.
“Continued improvements to retail offers and introduction of new offers in 2013 will improve the level of services delivered to our customers.”
Dave Laws, chief executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “The group operating profit for 2012 increased from £16.9m to £18.7m, showing strong year-on-year growth in the business. We are also showing a growth in passenger numbers. So far for the first six months of 2013, we are c. 2% above numbers for the same period last year which is very encouraging.”
Last week budget airline easyJet announced twice weekly flights to Tenerife from Newcastle, adding more than 18,000 seats to its winter schedule.
The company has continued to maintain its goal of being the most welcoming airport in the UK