Profit is up and debt is down as the financial performance of Hawke's Bay Airport takes off.

Hawke's Bay Airport profit after tax for the six months to December was up 53 per cent on the same period in 2015.

The figure is 18 per cent, or $152, 347, above budget and the airport company expects the above-budget run to continue into the full year, exceeding the forecasted $1.5million target.

Passenger numbers were also above forecasted levels, up 21 per cent to 326,489 for the six months.


Total revenue was also up 21 per cent on the same period last year, to $3.1m.

The airport company's Report to Shareholders said the increased revenue reflected increased flights by Jetstar and Sounds Air with a correlated increase in parking revenue.

Debt of $900,000 was $500,000, or 35.7 per cent, lower than for the same period last year.

The airport company' shareholders (central government, Hastings District Council and Napier City Council) received a fully imputed dividend of $562,000 in December for the year ended June 2016.

Capital expenditure of $1.6m was 16 per cent of the budgeted $9.7m for the full year, with a large portion of costs for its terminal development now expected to occur in 2018.

Operating expenses were 4 per cent below budget but expected to increase this year due to the two new roles of infrastructure manager and commercial manager.

The tender document for short-listed main terminal contractors is due to be released in May.

In preparation for the airport's new entrance at Watchman Rd, hangar boundaries were redrawn.

Airport chairman Tony Porter said while the half-year result was positive, progress on the new terminal was not as fast as originally planned due to the need for automated baggage-handling systems for both arrivals and departures, which took up more space.

He said the long-term growth rate in passenger numbers was 3 to 4 per cent for the airport but recent years saw 20 per cent growth.

When asked if Jetstar might add destinations other than Auckland from Napier he said there was no indication that might happen.

An extra gate was about to be remarked at the terminal to allow for extra flights.